‘Nefarious: Merchant of Souls’, an award winning documentary directed by Benjamin Nolot was screened jointly by the Australian-based NGO ‘Ruby Road Project’ and the Kochi-based NGO ‘Raising Our Voices’ on Saturday. The documentary, which lays bare the dark world of human trafficking and flesh trade, was shot across four continents.
The shady business transactions conducted through organised crime in Moldova, known as the sex-trafficking engine of Eastern Europe, Thailand and Belgrade have been exposed through the documentary. According to reports, two out of three young women in Moldova are a prostitute. Abject poverty has pushed them to this fate. In Thailand, according to a leading psychologist in the documentary, eighty to ninety per cent of the girls are subjected to prostitution. Most of the girls are sold at a tender age by their families. Girls are seen as a sign of prosperity. Men need not work as they are sure their daughters will earn a living for them. Those who supposedly ‘love’ their children send them to brothels.
“Until a few years ago, we had not engaged much with the issue of human trafficking. In 2011, me and my sister and co-founder Lydia Muirhead visited India and heard about the heartrending stories of young girls who were sold to the flesh trade by their parents. We could not sit idle thereafter. That is how the ‘Ruby Road Project’ was born. We are trying to instil awareness of human trafficking in people across the globe and raise funds for various NGOs to rescue and rehabilitate women and children trapped in sex slavery,” she said.