UNODC Screened "Not My Life"
30 October 2013, Islamabad - The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) hosted the screening of the documentary 'Not My Life' today at the Islamabad club. UNODC Country Representative Cesar Guedes and Australian High Commissioner Peter Heyward provided introductory remarks at the event, which also included a Q&A session with Robert Bilheimer, the film's director and Academy Award nominee. The documentary was filmed across continents and includes stories from victims, including fishing boys in Africa, child soldiers in South America and prostitutes in multiple countries.
'Not My Life' depicts the cruel and dehumanizing practices of trafficking in persons and modern slavery on a global scale.
Filmed on five continents, in a dozen countries, "Not My Life" takes viewers into a world where millions of men, women and children are exploited, every day, through an astonishing array of practices including forced labour, begging and child soldiering. "Human traffickers are earning billions of dollars on the backs and in the beds of our children," says Robert Bilheimer, "and yet no one knows this is happening." We have a huge responsibility, right now, to learn the truth and act on it.
Challenging though it may be, "Not My Life" gives out a message of hope ultimately. Victims of slavery can be set free and go on to live extraordinary lives. Those who advocate for them are growing in numbers, and increasingly effective. UNODC Pakistan through its Country Programme, is one of the donors assisting the Government of Pakistan in its efforts against human trafficking and migrant smuggling.
The Governments of Austria, Norway and Sweden along with numerous organization from the United States of America contributed to this documentary through UNODC Office in Vienna.
At the screening of this documentary in Pakistan Mr. Cesar Guedes said "the ongoing conflicts in the region (Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq) combined with struggling economies and limited job opportunities provide a conducive environment for traffickers. Criminal groups usually operate with impunity in absence of a strong and fair criminal justice system. Vulnerable groups especially women and children are actively preyed upon by criminal syndicates for exploitation purposes."