With almost 50 million people trapped in modern slavery and human trafficking around the world, and 1.7 million children in forced commercial sexual exploitation according to the best estimates, the need to raise awareness is paramount.
Factual, inspiring communications that assist in bringing this often hidden problem to the forefront of public consciousness will help us all to make a bigger difference. It can be a wake-up call, prompting individuals, corporates and governments to recognize the magnitude of this crime and the urgent need for action.
Media coverage can help bring social change by inspiring people to get involved in the fight against human trafficking.
It is important to note that the filmmakers behind Sound of Freedom acknowledge that while it draws from real events, many scenes and characters are fictionalized and dramatized. Hope for Justice and other anti-trafficking organizations that we partner with really do rescue children and adults from these situations, and our licensed investigators in the United States do use intelligence-gathering methods including surveillance. However, we keep law enforcement fully informed, and we never engage directly with traffickers or use violence. Once the victim or victims are safe and in a secure place, we share our intelligence and evidence, handing it over to prosecutors to build a case and bring the perpetrators to justice.
When we share real stories of lives changed, we touch the hearts of many, motivating supporters and donors alike to join the cause and support organisations working to end modern slavery and human trafficking.
Providing victims of human trafficking with a platform to share their stories can help us to foreground the experiences of those who have suffered, received help and are now survivors. As a victim- and survivor-focused organization, this is always our main aim at Hope for Justice. Such opportunities encourage empathy and understanding, and help others share in the victory of lives changed and perpetrators brought to justice. When more people start to hear and understand real-life stories, it helps to break the silence surrounding the issue, empowering survivors and encouraging others to listen and support their journey towards recovery.
We hope the audiences choosing to see the Sound of Freedom movie will come away wanting to learn more about the issue of human trafficking and child trafficking in particular. We want this new attention to be harnessed to help more individuals become advocates for change in the fight against human trafficking as it exists in real life.