There is a new movie being filmed in the UK. In a quiet corner a young girl and an older boy sit close together, their meals forgotten on the table. The girl can’t believe the boy has taken such an interest in her. It seems unreal that someone like him would be interested in her, a sophomore in high school. Yet here he is, this college senior, taking her to dinner and loving her. She couldn’t be happier.
But what the girl does not know is that the boy is a recruiter who will eventually lead her to a pimp and into the life of prostitution. She is about to become a victim of trafficking in her own country.
It’s a bold message. The film will be shown to young girls in an attempt to advise them about internal trafficking (trafficking that occurs within a country). It is a growing trend, not only in the UK but in the United States as well – men enticing younger women with gifts, love, and affection then betraying them into prostitution by selling them to a pimp or becoming the pimp themselves.
Some of the girls are not even 12 years old.
The UK’s willingness to address internal trafficking is encouraging. In the U.S. being a domestic trafficking victim is equal to being a prostitute – in other words, the victim must have chosen that lifestyle and deserves no sympathy. We harm trafficked people further when we refuse to see them as victims.
By being willing to face the problem of internal trafficking, the UK will start a dialogue among students, their peers, their families, and hopefully the community at large. Over time this may keep girls from being trafficked and make the community more aware of what is going on around them.
It’s a step – a significant one – one that the U.S. should bring home and make personal.
To see the video click here: (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/7383565.stm)