While researching sex trafficking, I came across a short film called "Back to Innocence", which you can watch above. It is a very touching and powerful watch and will take up no more than four minutes of your day! Here is the powerful story behind it:
The “Back To Innocence” film was in many ways our most challenging video. From learning about the issue to creating the concept to producing the film, there was no shortage of barriers to making “Back To Innocence” possible. Still, the journey we embarked on to create this film is one we felt convicted to follow. And through the journey, we were no less blessed to be able to share this important cause with you.
One challenge was our own ignorance to the reality of what was happening around the world. We knew that the issue of sex trafficking existed. We saw it in the movies, heard about it in our classes, and even nodded our heads in conversations about how sex trafficking was a serious issue. The reality was that we hardly even knew the extent of what is going on – and frankly, we are still only beginning to understand the true gravity of sex trafficking.
To begin, it’s important to define sex trafficking for what it is: sex trafficking is the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harboring, or receipt of persons for the purposes of commercial sexual exploitation. Sex trafficking is accomplished by means of fraud, deception, threat of or use of force, abuse of a position of vulnerability, and other forms of coercion. Worldwide, it is estimated that somewhere between 700,000 and four million women, children and men are trafficked each year, and no region is unaffected. Sustained by an estimated $9.5 billion annual revenue, sex trafficking is one of the fastest growing crimes in the world and it is the world’s second largest criminal enterprise.
Most heartbreaking was learning about the children who are forced into this industry. Approximately 80% of human trafficking victims are women and girls and up to 50% are children under the age of 18. UNICEF reports that across the world, there are over one million children entering the sex trade every year and that approximately 30 million children have lost their childhood through sexual exploitation over the past 30 years. The average age of entry for children victimized by the sex trade industry is 11 years old.
What stood out the most about this issue is the prevalence of cases here in the United States. An estimated 14,500 to 17,500 foreign nationals are trafficked into the United States each year. The number of U.S. citizens trafficked within the country is even higher, with an estimated 300,000 children in the United States at risk every year for commercial sexual exploitation. People are forced into trafficking by many methods. In some cases, they are abducted by traffickers. In other cases, false promises are made regarding job opportunities or marriages in foreign countries to entrap victims. As many as 2.8 million children run away each year in the US. Within 48 hours of hitting the streets, one-third of these children are lured or recruited into the underground world of prostitution and pornography.
via Jubilee Project
Below you can have a look at how the short film was produced - the amount of planning and talent involved in it makes it truly outstanding and very special in its ability to reach the audience:
So what can you do to become involved in raising awareness of this issue? The "Back to Innocence" video is a good starting point - share it with your friends, family and community. Tweet about it, post it on Facebook, hold meetings, organise events and thus help people engage with this issue. Start a discussion. You are the change we need and you have all the tools you need.