With the End It Movement’s “Shine a Light on Slavery Day,” quickly approaching on February 23, there’s no better time to talk about the world’s most widespread epidemic—modern slavery.
It is estimated that there are as many as 30 million slaves in the world today who are victims of human trafficking and sexual exploitation. Eighty percent of which are women, and half are children.
Unlike the slavery we grew up reading about in our history books, modern slavery cannot be easily seen.
I Am Jane Doe is seeking to change that.
The film, which hit select theaters on February 10, chronicles the battle of several American mothers fighting on behalf of their middle-school-aged daughters, who are victims of sex trafficking on Backpage.com.
Backpage.com is the second largest classified-ad listing service on the Internet in the United States (behind Craigslist).
For years, the adult classifieds section of the website has been used to buy and sell victims of human trafficking.
As one attorney puts it in the film’s trailer, “Backpage is like the Walmart of human trafficking.”
According to the film’s website, the documentary reveals how, after rescuing their daughters, these mothers filed lawsuits against Backpage. Although many of the lawsuits have not gone well, their efforts have sparked a political movement that now includes a Senate investigation.
“We need someone to give us a fighting chance,” stated one human trafficking victim through a stream of tears.
And that’s exactly what this project is all about.
We may not be able to see it, but modern day slavery is all around us. We have a tendency to put up blinders, and believe that it’s only happening where we can see it—in third world countries across the globe. But it’s happening in our backyards, across the street, at our favorite sporting events and across our nation.
I Am Jane Doe is a gut-wrenching human story and a fresh look at a social and legal issue that affects every community in America.
In addition to the educational and human rights value of the film, 50 percent of all profits from the project will be donated to nonprofit organizations which serve Jane Doe children.