Sometimes movies teach us something. The things we're taught aren't always pleasant. Sex slavery would be one of those things, but it happens as a recent film shows.
Liam Neeson, the actor, plays to the hilt in the movieTaken a father's earnest search to find his daughter who was kidnapped by a ring of thugs who sell women to the highest bidder in France or turn them out on the streets to work as prostitutes to maintain the drugs used to keep them subservient and incapable of getting help.
The film with its unique action and fast-paced style may be put together for audience consternation and entertainment, but the information behind it is the news of the sex trade that hurts victims and their families that is real.
According to the United Nations 1.2 million children are trafficked worldwide. 200,000 of them are trafficked from Eastern Europe. Albania is the leader in this. They take children from Eastern Europe and sell them to people in the West. Some of them are sold to pedophiles. Both boys and girls are part of the trade that many countries have chosen to ignore. The trafficking comes about because of the desperate poverty of families and the fact that authorities have not followed up to ensure safety of children. Children become lost, separated from families, without income and become part of the sex trade where they are taken.
Taken, the movie, shows a corrupt French official involved. In 2007. The Vice Prosecutor of a Muslim-dominated region in Albania, named Senad Palamara, was found to be someone who used sexual services of the human trafficking trade himself. So the higher-ups may know or be involved themselves in sex trade agreements and incidents.
Amsterdam is said to fuel the sex trade because of its open door ways to brothels and prostitutions and its well-known red-light district. One website maintains that in Theemsweg, a large area the size of a football field is used for unregulated sex workers and a bus shelter built there courtesy of the government of the Netherlands. So the sex trade is maintained because some governments know and do nothing and may in fact aid by what is called tolerance. The Netherlands, however, has been taking steps to stop the spread of the sex trade by closing down some of the brothels.
A doctor underlines the risks of travel and the fact that tourists are targeted for the sex trade. He also discusses sex tourism where travelers are either sought for slaves or clients because they don't know the customs and rules and are subsequently at risk. He reviews the problems that develop when young people are exposed to trafficking agents, their lack of knowledge causing them to get involved with people and in areas where they may not understand the consequences. His narration opens the door to just the sort of thing that the movie Taken is all about.
There is a good ending to the story in film Taken but not for the sex slaves in many parts of the world. The film does, however, point to a problem that some folks may not have known about, but learn through the film, that is creating serious problems and hurt to many.