“It’s not okay to sell children! It’s not okay to sell children to pedophiles!”
Actress Mira Sorvino shouts this at locals in Svay Pak, Cambodia. To her fury, they had scattered when they saw the cameras following her as she recorded a documentary on child sex-trafficking. The CNN International film, “Freedom Project: Everyday in Cambodia” covers the lives of young Cambodian girls being sold into slavery – sometimes by their own family.
Some may know Sorvino best for her acting career and for being an Academy Award and Golden Globe winner. However, Mira has also been an activist against human trafficking for roughly a decade now. She began her initiative in 2004, around the time her first of four children was born. That year, she joined forces with Amnesty International, and was appointed Ambassador of Goodwill by the United Nations five years later.
These kinds of accolades are the ones of which she is most proud.
“Being a mom of four kids, you can not stand it." Sorvino said during an interview. "You look at these kids and you know what they are suffering at the hands of adults who know very clearly what they are doing,”
The film, which premiered Saturday, follows Mira’s journey into the heart of Cambodian child sex trafficking. While there, she attempted to exploit the atrocious ongoings - like the sales of pre-pubescent girls to grown men and the part played by law enforcement.
— Mira Sorvino (@MiraSorvino) January 1, 2014
In her online blog, she explains, “Corruption is endemic at every level of society here, an expert tells me – adding that every brothel here operates with the help of the police or military.” She later stated, “It is estimated that the child sex trade in Cambodia makes $500 million annually; this means a lot of high-level investment in this lucrative business.”
Mira conceded that simply portraying a problem isn’t sufficient to enact change. She thus tries her best to spread the message in a way that will spur others toward acting on the intense emotional response that accompanies seeing the abuse of a defenseless child. Indeed, by the end of her journey, she was able to share in the victory of at least one survivor she’d met.
Sorvinos’s hope about this girl’s bravery in court is that it will mark the start of a paradigm shift against the ongoing harm of others like her:
“Hopefully this case a harbinger of more justice to come, and will reverse the trend of dwindling human trafficking arrests and convictions. This should send a message out that Cambodia is willing to try to convict those who exploit young girls, followed by vigorous law enforcement and legal action that can truly end the impunity the criminals now enjoy.”
Thank you for your service, Mira!
To to join the fight, you can click here.
Image via Youtube