My wife and just watched a disturbing but engaging film called The Whistleblower. The 2010 film starring Rachel Weisz dramatizes the true life story of Kathryn Bolkovac, a Nebraska cop who served as a peacekeeper in post-war Bosnia and outed the U.N. for covering up a sex scandal. The scandal was the trafficking of young girls into the sex trade. Not only were UN and various international personnel involved as clients, they also became directly involved in the trafficking of the girls, using UN clearances and vehicles for the task. As one character in the movie said “After the war, all our men are dead. So, who is using these girls?”.
The film is quite graphic, just as much in what it implies, as what it directly shows. If the girls speak to Bolkovac and are discovered they risk being tortured, or in one case, murdered. There are billions in government contracts as well as reputations on the line. To make things harder, all international personnel have diplomatic immunity and are never prosecuted by their home countries. Unfortunately, the movie does not have a happy ending. The girls aren’t recused and some are left in a worse state because they spoke to investigators.
I can’t recommend the movie enough, but not for the squeamish. The one lesson you should take away from this movie is that sex trafficking is real and modern day slavery is alive and well. Girls become the worst kind of property, are abused, tortured and sold like cattle (and I dare say cattle are likely treated better).
Sex trafficking is a problem everywhere. I live in Toronto, Canada’s most populace city. I know it happens here. I know somewhere in this city there are young girls being prostituted. They have been torn way from their families and are told they are “working off their debts” to their captors. It disgusts me, as do the ancillary industries that it supports like strip clubs and pornography. We are loosing what it means to be human. We have, as Pope Benedict XVI said “The world has lost its story”(1) and with an understanding of the human story.
If you’re interested in knowing more or getting involved in action against this evil, there are several organization working to end this evil. If you are interested, here’s three of them that friends have pointed me to.
What the UN Doesn’t Want You to Know (Telegraph UK)
(1) Light of the World: The Pope, the Church, and the Signs of the Times (Ignatius Press), Peter Seewald in conversation with Pope Benedict XVI.