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Not My Life

Jan 2014

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Exploitation is rife in Senegal, where children are forced to beg for money

Voices of victimsThe documentary Not My Life takes a close look at the severity and brutality of hum...an trafficking, writes George PalathingalThe first thing you need to know about Robert Bilheimer’s documentary Not My Life is that its subject matter is an important one that people should learn about – and you should watch the film. The catch, however, is that it does not exactly make easy viewing.Not My Life shines a light on human trafficking, which is essentially modern-day slavery. The programme reveals shocking examples from all over the world and lets some of the lucky few who have escaped these appalling conditions – as well as those doing everything they can to help them – tell their real-life horror stories, helped along by a sensitive narration from the American actress Glenn Close.There is a message of hope, too, found in the efforts of those trying to help. Not My Life interviews Grace Akallo, a former child soldier who founded the United Africans for Women & Children Rights. The organisation aims to end human-rights violations in Africa by campaigning for gender equity and stronger child-protection policies. In Asia, Matthew Friedman, former Regional Project Manager of the United Nations Inter-Agency Project on Human Trafficking, co-founded the Mekong Club – a strategic movement that focuses on wiping out the business of slavery.Still, there is a lot of work to do in the fight against human trafficking. We can all help to make a difference.Visit the following sites to learn more about anti-trafficking efforts and how you can helpNOT MY LIFE www.notmylife.orgMEKONG CLUB www.themekongclub.orgLIBERTY ASIA www.libertyasia.org

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