ISLAMABAD, Oct 31: The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) on Thursday screened a documentary: ‘Not My Life', portraying lawlessness and joblessness in Pakistan as the root cause of human smuggling.
Filmed in a dozen countries, “Not My Life” depicts the cruel and dehumanizing practices of trafficking in persons and modern slavery at global scale.
The documentary takes viewers into a world where millions of men, women and children are exploited every day through astonishing practices including forced labour, begging and child soldiering.
UNODC Country Representative Cesar Guedes said that there were 1.8 million bonded labourers in Pakistan warning that the conflicts in Afghanistan and joblessness in Pakistan would trigger more women, children and men to indulge in modern slavery through human trafficking.
“Human traffickers are earning billions of dollars,” say Robert Bilheimer, the film director and Academy Award nominee.
“And yet no one knows this is happening. We have a huge responsibility, right now, to learn the truth and act on it,” he said.
The UNODC said it was working with government of Pakistan to reduce bonded labour and to discourage human traffickers to what it said were doing their inhuman practices with impunity in absence of a strong and fair criminal justice system.
Challenging though it may be, the documentary gives a message of hope ultimately. Victims of slavery can be set free and go on to live extraordinary lives.
Those who advocate for them are growing in numbers, and increasingly effective.