‘Sold’ takes a look at the sex trafficking business
By G. Allen Johnson Wednesday, April 13, 2016
There are 5.5 million children — yes, children — who are victims of sex trafficking in the world today. Bay Area filmmaker Jeffrey D. Brown calls attention to the problem in “Sold,” a drama about a 13-year-old Indian girl forced into prostitution, and the American do-gooders (Gillian Anderson, David Arquette) who try and save her.
Filmed in India in 2013 (it debuted at Cinequest in San Jose in 2014, but is only now getting a release), the English-language movie benefits from an appealing central performance by young Niyar Saikia, whose character Lakshmi endures beatings, forced rape and other hardships. Brown, who co-wrote the script based on Patricia McCormick’s 2006 novel, is able to convey the miserable existence and horrible lives of sex trafficking victims without resorting to torture porn. The film does not have a rating, but it seems rather PG-13-ish (there is no nudity and merely the suggestion of sex).
Lakshmi is from a remote village in Nepal, but her family, desperate for money, sells her temporary services for what they think is work as a maid in the big city of Kolkata (once called Calcutta). Instead, her temp agency turns out to be a pimp agency, and she is forced into prostitution....
Lebanon Shocked Over Sex Trafficking of Young Syrian Women
By Bassem Mroue, Associated Press
BEIRUT Apr 13, 2016
Back in Syria, the young women were told they would get well-paid jobs at restaurants and hotels in Lebanon. But when they arrived, their belongings and mobile phones were taken away, and the women were locked up in two hotels north of Beirut and forced into prostitution.
What followed was an ordeal of beatings, torture and abuse until Lebanese security forces raided the hotels and dismantled the operation in late March.
The discovery of the sex trafficking ring and the rescue of the women deeply shocked tiny Lebanon, a Mediterranean Arab nation already overwhelmed by the influx of more than a million Syrian refugees who have fled the civil war, and prompted calls for investigation.
The case, which involves 75 female victims, is considered the worst sex trafficking scandal in Lebanon in decades and has raised questions about who might have shielded and enabled such a vast network....
The Syrian women were brought to Lebanon in stages over the past several months. Those who refused to work as prostitutes were repeatedly raped and tortured until they submitted, according to Lebanese women's rights activists....
Lebanese security officials, who spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the case, estimate the gang was making more than a $1 million a month from the prostitution ring....
Child Abuse and Organized Abuse Research