Amsterdam’s Red light District Shocked By This Campaign To Stop Trafficking

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“Every year thousands of women are promised a dance career in Western Europe. But sadly they end up here…” says a powerful new campaign aimed at shocking ordinary citizens into the price of human trafficking.

Amsterdam is known for two things: marijuana and its infamous Red light District. Men and women come from all over the world to gawk at the women who stand in window displays around the city beckoning patrons into their lair to perform various sexual acts. Yes, they are prostitutes for hire who work in a brothel. Although this is technically legal in Holland, the act of human slavery in the 21st century is not.

This video was made by Belgian creative agency Duval Guillaume Modem and Belgian production company Monodot to raise awareness of sex trafficking throughout Europe in conjunction with Stop The Traffik organization.

The video shows 5 women at night dancing in the dimly lit red-hued windows of the Red Light district in a display that is more fit for a Britney Spears or Katy Perry concert. There are various onlookers who start gathering around, cheering the girls on with wolf whistles and cat calls. All of a sudden the thumping music stops, and so do the girls mid-step.

Up above the windows where they stand, you see the above words projected on to the screen and it is then you realize what this powerful display was aimed at showing. The audience is dead silent, and the looks on their faces is pure shock. There are no more cat calls, no more cheering and whistling, now that they know most of the girls in this industry are in fact victims of sex trafficking, rather than free women choosing this career.

“Men, women and children are trafficked – tricked, forced and exploited in the sex industry.” says the description on the Youtube Video (below). The video was designed not just to shock, but to show people that they have a choice. A choice to go from awareness to action, by getting involved with Stop the Traffik.

“As consumers we have a powerful voice: we must use it..” they say on their website.

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The United Nations definition of human trafficking is this: “The recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring or receipt of persons, by means of the threat or use of force or other forms of coercion, of abduction, of fraud, of deception, of the abuse of power or of a position of vulnerability or of the giving or receiving of payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over another person, for the purpose of exploitation”

According to research by International Labor Organization in 2010, an estimated 9000 people have been trafficked into sexual exploitation into The Netherlands. That is heartbreaking.

US-based A21 Campaign who have locations around the world, including in Europe, also work to end what they call “slavery in the 21st century”.

“There are more slaves in the world today than at any other point in human history, with an estimated 27 million in bondage across the globe. Men, women, and children are being exploited for manual and sexual labor against their will.” That sentence alone is enough to make you stop whatever you are doing and use your life for a noble purpose.

With the median age of most victims being 21, and the majority of them being women, the rest of us need to raise our voices, get involved and work to end this ugly, horrific and disgusting trade. It shouldn’t even be called a trade, really. A trade is something that should be considered a noble and worthy job: plumber, electricial, handyman etc. This is an atrocity of the worst kind and it needs to stop.

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