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460 million Indians open their eyes for issues regarding human trafficking

Updated: 4 September 2014

The Sida supported documentary film ”Not My Life” was aired on national Indian TV for 460 million people to illustrate the problems surrounding human trafficking. Every eight minute a child in India goes missing. This movie is among the first of its kind to depict the harsh reality within human trafficking on a global level.

In cooperation between Worldwide Documentaries, the Earth Matters series and the national Indian public service TV-network Doordarshan, the documentary was aired on prime time hours reaching 460 million people. The film was translated to Hindi and also enabled poor people in remote areas to access the content in a language they understood. Hopefully this enables them to be alert to the problem and protect themselves and their children.'

The TV-network Doordarshan got so much response when airing the documentary on the 29th of June that they decided to re-telecast the film the morning after in order to reach policy and change makers. Re-launches and re-broadcasts are planned in November where leaders within the government, the religious community and the media industry will take part of the documentary.

“My observation is that Not My Life has triggered something very deep in our national psyche, and that a real movement for change may be at our doorstep”, says Mike H. Pandey, producer for the Earth Matters series.

Filmed on five continents, in a dozen countries during four years the documentary is a sharp illustration of the many forms of child exploitation and human trafficking that exist around the world. In relation to the re-launch in New Delhi and the rebroadcast in November, a three year awareness campaign will be presented with the aim to change Indians perception of human trafficking and modern slavery. 

“One of the many compelling features of Not My Life for Indians is that it does not shy away from the problem we have here, but it also helps us understand that we are not alone in this. Trafficking and slavery are human problems, really, not just Indian problems”, says Bina Rani, CEO at iPartner, India, leading the nationwide awareness campaign. 

Sida supports the non-governmental movie production company Worldwide Documentaries that has produced the documentary Not My Life. The company focus their productions on humanitarian and social issues in the world to help individuals better understand the world today. Through Sida’s support the organisation has successfully raised global awareness regarding human trafficking and modern slavery by producing the documentary Not My Life.

Human trafficking and modern slavery are global issues which destroy millions of people’s lives. India is the most affected country and especially among young women and children. The problems are constantly growing and are one of the strongest violations of human rights in our time.

“We wanted to bring this tragedy of human trafficking to attention of our huge audience base. The film is an eye-opener as well as a profound calling for action”, says Tripurari Sharan, Director General of Doordarshan.

Human trafficking is a billion-dollar business and in India alone it is estimated to enslave about ten million innocent people. The documentary is regarded by many as a masterpiece and an important step in the struggle to eradicate human trafficking. The director, Robert Bilheimer perceives the struggle as an ambitious but achievable goal.

”We kept asking,‘who will speak for those who cannot speak for themselves?’ In the end we felt that making Not My Life was not only our job, but our mission, because far too much silence still surrounds this issue”, berättar Robert Bilheimer, regissör av Not My Life. 

Sida’s support lasts over the time period 2012-2014 and is part of the results strategy for special initiatives for human rights and democratisation 2014-2017. 

Page owner: Communication Unit

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