Division Supports PBS, Hallmark Film on Human-Trafficking
by YVETTE MOORE*
A documentary on immigration and human trafficking produced with the help of United Methodist Women’s Mission Giving will air on local Public Broadcasting System channels and Hallmark network in January 2007. Gayla Jamison, co-producer of “Lives for Sale,” premiered a clip from the documentary for directors during the October annual meeting of the Women’s Division of the United Methodist General Board of Global Ministries in Stamford, Conn.
Directors saw a segment of the film documenting the story of Esperanza, a Guatemalan teen sold by her parents for about $200 to a man when she was 12 years old. The man smuggled her into the United States, where she served as a domestic worker and was sexually abused by him and others at his direction to pay off debt incurred by the smuggling. When the girl became pregnant, she caught the attention of a neighbor who reported her plight to authorities.
The documentary also includes the story of a young Mexican woman who came to the United States for a promised job in manufacturing, but was forced into prostitution instead.
“We looked at the stories of undocumented immigrants, what makes them come to the United States, which in turn makes them vulnerable to trafficking,” Ms. Jamison told directors of the Women’s Division’s Section of Christian Social Responsibility. “The airing of `Lives for Sale’ presents a chance for local groups to do something around trafficking in their own communities.”
Ms. Jamison said that human trafficking not only involves prostitution, but can also include forcing women and girls to work as domestic workers in middle-class neighborhoods.
Ms. Jamison is grateful for United Methodist Women’s support for her project.
“Thank you very much for support of this documentary,” she told directors. “Many of my documentaries are made through grant funding. It’s very rare that I get to look into the eyes of the people who make it possible. Thank you very much. Thank you for the good work that you do.”