Human Traffic Watch

Oscar-nominated local filmmakers tackle sex trafficking

In Child Sex Trafficking, Human Trafficking, Sex Trafficking on October 30, 2012 at 3:10 pm

In Phnom Penh, Cambodia, girls as young as 7 are sold for sex. • They are presented to the customers as virgins. Many are then physically sewn to preserve the illusion. • A good number of the buyers are American men who travel to the far corners of the world as “sex tourists,” a sanitized term that ignores the trauma of the young victims of trafficking. • “They’ll go and take these girls for two or three weeks back to their hotel,” says filmmaker Bob Bilheimer, the president of Worldwide Documentaries Inc. “The worst of them all are the Americans.”

For four years, Bilheimer and his wife, Heidi Ostertag, immersed themselves in the world of youth trafficking. After trips to places from Ghana to Oklahoma, their film, Not My Life, provides a harrowing portal into the sexual trade of children, as well as the use of children for slave-like labor.

Difficult subjects are not new for Worldwide, which is headquartered at the couple’s home in Bristol, Ontario County. The company has tackled AIDS, mental illness and apartheid. Recognition has come as well, including an Oscar nomination.

Source: Democrat and Chronicle

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