Saturday, October 11, 2008

Dr. Phil On Human Slavery And Trafficking

Friday's Dr. Phil show highlighted a problem that sometimes gets attention, but too often leaves viewers feeling powerless.

One of the guests, actress Julia Ormond who is a United Nations Goodwill Ambassador created the Asset Campaign.

The Alliance to Stop Slavery and End Trafficking (ASSET) works to eradicate slavery at source by partnering with government, NGOs, corporations, and individuals on collaborative corporate responsibility, raising public awareness, and UN memberstate cooperation.

Another guest, Justin Dillon, produced the documentary Call + Response which uses undercover footage to show some of the sex slavery in the USA. This documentary is in select theaters now. Watch the trailer.

Two women who had been effectively enslaved in the US beginning when they were teens, Wendy and Sheri, were on the show and the man who controlled them, Greg, who is in jail on prostitution charges, talked via telephone.

His comments were educational since he asked for forgiveness while denying his physical violence and minimizing his financial exploitation. He claimed to have changed and said that he wanted to talk to girls to help prevent them from prostituting themselves -- a wording which makes prostitution an action without traffickers or buyers.

The focus on human slavery of US citizens is important because too many people dismiss local sex trafficking as being completely unrelated to human slavery. It's easier for so-called good people to sneer at these victims if they use negative labels such as whore.

It's also easier to incorrectly view those who pay for sex as being blameless for the human slavery industry if you direct all your disdain at those they use.

This view of buyers as blameless is contradicted by the pervasive non-sexual violence which gets directed at those in prostitution. Yet too many people who label themselves as decent human beings will feel nothing when they hear that someone who has been prostituted has been murdered. When someone says, "She was just a prostitute," they diminish their own humanity.

An action which Dr. Phil advocates is for US citizens to call their US senators and representative to voice their support for The William Wilberforce Trafficking Victims Protection Reathorization Act.

From a Senator Joe Biden Press Release:

The William Wilberforce Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act (S. 3061), a four year reauthorization act, comprehensively strengthens and improves existing laws to prevent and prosecute human trafficking, as well as offers protection and services to victims of human trafficking.

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