Archive for April, 2008

Soldier boy

April 8, 2008

On the topic of child soldiers, I was reading The Guardian when I came across an article of a child soldier survivor.

The G2 today wrote about Emmanuel Jal, a former child soldier from Sudan. The 28 year old escaped the Sudan People’s Liberation Army and after much struggle now lives in London.

Jal uses music to tell his story and raps in English, Arabic and some African languages, in fact he is currently working on a single for his third album. He has had a number one hit in Kenya and performed at the Live 8: Africa Calling concert in 2005.

To read his success story click here

Congo’s child soldiers

April 7, 2008

I saw the film Blood Diamond the other day and was very impressed, not just because its a good movie but because it bought to light issues that I think many people, including myself, were unfamiliar with. One storyline in the film is that of Dia Vandy, a young school boy who gets taken away from his family and taught how to fight as a soldier in Sierra Leone.

Anyway im not here to advertise the film but the clip below is basically the real version of that. It is a documentary by Al Jazeera on the rising number of child soldiers in Congo. It includes some disturbing scenes with real life stories from former child soldiers and victims of their crimes.

Trade

April 6, 2008

A film about child sex trafficking which was released in October 2007.

Adriana is a 13-year-old girl from Mexico City whose kidnapping by sex traffickers sets in motion a desperate mission by her 17-year-old brother, Jorge, to save her. Trapped and terrified by an underground network of international thugs who earn millions exploiting their human cargo, Adriana’s only friend and protector throughout her ordeal is Veronica, a young Polish woman tricked into the trade by the same criminal gang. As Jorge dodges immigration officers and incredible obstacles to track the girls’ abductors, he meets Ray, a Texas cop whose own family loss to sex trafficking leads him to become an ally in the boy’s quest. Fighting with courage and hard-tested faith, the characters of Trade negotiate their way through the unspeakable terrain of the sex trade “tunnels” between Mexico and the United States. From the barrios of Mexico City and the treacherous Rio Grande border, to a secret Internet sex slave auction and the final climactic confrontation at a stash house in suburban New Jersey, Ray and Jorge forge a close bond as they give desperate chase to Adriana’s kidnappers before she is sold and disappears forever into this brutal global underworld, a place from which few victims ever return.

click here to watch the trailor

Amnesty.org.uk

April 6, 2008

Here’s a link with detailed information on trafficking in the UK.

amnesty.org.uk

The European convention against trafficking

April 6, 2008

The UK Government has acted to prosecute traffickers and criminalise all forms of trafficking – in the Sexual Offences Act 2004 and the Immigration and Asylum Act 2004. But cracking down on the people traders is only one half of the answer – the UK should also guarantee victims’ rights are protected.

The current lack of automatic protection for those who escape from trafficking in the UK compounds the abuse that many have already suffered. Many victims are removed from the UK as illegal entrants without any assessment of what risk they may return to (and without any prospects of their traffickers being held to account).

The European Convention Against Trafficking was drawn up by the 46-member Council of Europe based in Strasbourg. It guarantees trafficked people:

  • A breathing period (or reflection period) of at least 30 days during which they can receive support to aid their recovery, including safe housing and emergency medical support
  • Temporary residence permits for trafficked people who may be in danger if they return to their country, and/or if it is necessary to assist criminal proceedings