Anti-human trafficking filmfest comes to 4 Taiwan cities


TAIPEI, Taiwan News — The 2008 Anti-Human Trafficking Film Festival, sponsored by the Taipei-based Garden of Hope Foundation, will show five films for free in four major cities during October to help raise public awareness about human smuggling and modern-day slavery, one of the organizers said yesterday.

Chi Hui-jung,executive director of the foundation,told reporters that each year, 27 million people worldwide are forced or tricked into hard labor or the sex trade and that 80 percent of them are women and children who are sold as merchandise.

According to Chi, about 24,000 migrant foreign women workers in Taiwan each year are also subjected to violent threats by their employers, who would take their passports away. Some of these female workers are bonded by debts and are coerced into prostitution or hard labor.

The Garden of Hope Foundation was established in 1988 as a non-profit organization to help disadvantaged girls and young women. One of its goals is to end sexual abuse, sexual exploitation and domestic violence.

The festival will screen five documentary films to tell stories of human trafficking victims in other countries at cinemas in Taipei, Taichung, Kaohsiung and Taitung, followed by panel discussions.

The five documentaries to be screened are:

“Trafficked,” a story about an investigation by a former police officer into a decade old case in which a young Thai girl was sold as a sex slave to a Sydney brothel;

“China Blue,” which tells of the operations inside a blue jeans factory in southern China, where teenage workers struggle to survive harsh working conditions;

“Working for a Better Life,” which describes the lives of Vietnamese migrant workers in Taiwan and how they are treated and transacted like human commodities;

“Summer Moon,” a presentation about how trafficked girls in Mumbai, India, recover and go on to lead full lives; and “Traffic,”a special documentary by the MTV EXIT (End Exploitation and Trafficking) campaign — a multimedia initiative produced by the MTV Europe Foundation.

The screenings will take place at Taipei’s Shin Kong Cineplex in Ximending Oct. 3-5; at Taichung’s Wonderful Cinemas Oct. 14-16; at Kaohsiung’s Shihchuan Cinema Oct. 21-23; and at Taitung University’s Concert Hall Oct. 24.