One of the core tenets of the mission and heart behind what we do at Yobel Market is awareness. We strongly believe that awareness is the first step to action – by choosing to actively open our eyes and hearts to an area of injustice, we’ve already begun to put ourselves in the shoes of one who is able to make change. We hope and believe that awareness is a powerful tool in helping us become activists in whatever capacity life has for us.
One opportunity that Yobel provides for awareness, is sponsoring monthly documentary nights – we open these nights up to the community, choose a justice themed documentary to show, and have a bit of discussion afterwards. This month we chose to screen Nefarious: Merchant of Souls, an award-winning documentary that examines the most profitable business in the world: human trafficking. An issue that affects upwards of 27 million people today, human trafficking has become a human rights buzzword as governments and individuals alike begin to recognize how widespread and complex this issue truly is. Organizations like the Polaris Project, the International Justice Mission, the A21 Campaign, and the Somaly Mam Foundation are just a hand-full of the countless other organizations actively working to bring this issue to light and work with authorities around the world to stop this modern-day slavery.
Though human trafficking often seems localized to a specific area of the world, far removed from Western culture, Nefarious takes viewers from Phnom Penh, Cambodia to Pattaya, Thailand to Amsterdam, Netherlands to Las Vegas, USA, capturing the magnitude and reach of human trafficking. The documentary makers present a powerful and often shocking picture by interviewing former victims, government officials, anti-trafficking experts, and even former traffickers, helping us gain a glimpse into the darkness that surrounds the international sex industry and the utter hopelessness that trafficking victims face.
It would be impossible to restate all the facts about human trafficking that the film presented, so we strongly encourage you to look into this issue for yourself. The organizations we mentioned above, as well as the Nefarious website, are full of information and resources to help you learn more about human trafficking. We would, however, like to emphasize some of the major points that the documentary brought up: