A brave battle against human slavery, trafficking

A brave battle against human slavery, trafficking


Even as human trafficking remains a major curse in this country, as in the rest of the world, the conviction rate as against the cases filed was a mere 0.6 per cent last year.

And though an American report claims that 15 per cent of the cases relating to human slavery are solved every year in India, there is unfortunately very little sympathy or support for those who are fighting against human slavery, often at the cost of their lives,” says Kailash Satyarthi of Bachpan Bachao Andolan.

His remark came soon after the special screening of Oscar nominee Robert Bilheimer’s Not My Life, a film that depicts the harsh realities of human trafficking on a global scale, at the India International Centre. 

Not My Life is a film that brings to the fore the cruel and dehumanising practices of human trafficking and modern slavery on a global scale. It takes viewers into a world where millions of children are exploited, every day, through practices like forced labour, domestic servitude, begging, sex tourism, sexual violence, and child soldiering.

Challenging it may be, but Not My Life’s message is ultimately one of hope. Victims of slavery can be set free and go on to live happy and productive lives. Those who advocate for slavery victims are growing in numbers, and are increasingly effective in saving the lives.

A heart-rending film, Not My Life moved all those who saw it. A co-production of Worldwide Documentaries and Riverbank Studios, Delhi, the movie was filmed on five continents in a dozen countries over a period of more than four years.

Filmmaker Mike Pandey of Riverbank Studios who co-produced the film said “The problem exists in almost 190 countries and the film has attempted to cover some of these places, including India. The film emphasises on the urgent need for a nationwide collective effort at all levels if we want slavery to end.”

To do so, Doordarshan telecast the 56-minute documentary dubbed in Hindi recently on the national channel. Doordarshan Director General, Tripurari Sharan, who was also present at the occasion said, “The endeavour is to take the film to the remotest corners of the country and overseas, so that it can create the right kind of impact about the horrors of human trafficking. Plans are already underway for a re-broadcast of Not My Life on DD in November.”

Filmmaker Robert Billheimer also sent a message on the occasion. “This project was, and is, a labour of love. We kept asking, who will speak for those who cannot speak for themselves?  In the end, we felt that making Not My Life was not only our job, but our mission, because far too much silence still surrounds this issue.” 

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