Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Law & Order Tonight - Human Trafficking Episode

This is an email I sent out today to just about everyone in my address book. Rather than re-invent the wheel, I just copied it here.

Good morning, everyone. I wanted to send this quick email to give you the information regarding Law & Order tonight. Most of you know how I feel about the issue of human trafficking. I have not seen this episode but if you choose to watch it - have tissues handy and be prepared to feel numb at the end. Even in its most benign form in any TV show, I end up in tears. It is hard enough to imagine - it is even harder to watch, even if it is just being acted out and isn't "real." The real stuff is impossible to watch for more than a few seconds.

If you do watch the episode and have any other questions, don't hesitate to ask. And - if you decide you want to know more about getting involved, our next Coalition meeting is Monday, January 19th. I'd be more than happy to have you attend that with me.

Thanks for reading & I hope you are able & choose to watch tonight.


--- On Tue, 1/6/09, Peggy Callahan Free the Slaves wrote:
From: Peggy Callahan Free the Slaves Subject: Free the Slaves: Child Slavery on Law & Order tomorrow night 10 PM/ 9c NBC

Law & Order tells a compelling story of child slavery in New York on Wednesday night on NBC at 10 PM/9 central.

Two detectives on the show are investigating a double murder when they uncover and a child slave trade ring between Haiti and New York. “This is one of those rare episodes that touched everyone who worked on it,” says Executive Producer Rene Balcer about what he calls probably the most powerful episode of the season. Rene told Free the Slaves, “Even our crusty thick-skinned editors were moved to tears by the ending. It also opened a lot of eyes to the present-day, modern-world reality of slavery and indentured servitude. I would urge everyone who, as a result of this e-blast, watches the episode to call NBC thanking them for allowing the writers and producers of Law & Order to shine a spotlight on this issue.” [NBC Viewer Services at 212-664-5740]

Getting slavery into the mainstream is a core goal of FTS. We’re thrilled that one of the most popular TV shows in history is highlighting slavery. The producers of the show were inspired to write the episode, “Chattel”, after reading ‘A Crime So Monstrous’ by Ben Skinner. Ben traveled around the world researching slavery and visiting FTS’ partners including in Haiti. The show illustrates some of the psychological complexity of working with the victims of slavery who have spent years living with deprivation and fear. Keep in mind, the episode is not a documentary so when you hear Sam Waterson say there are no anti-trafficking statutes in New York – thankfully that is no longer true. In fact, New York recently passed an anti-trafficking law and is one of 40 states that have criminal anti-trafficking statutes on the books. But only half of those states have victim protection laws to help the survivors of slavery. You can find out more about child domestic slavery in Haiti [the restavek system] and what FTS is doing with partners to combat it here:

And…FTS is featured on the Law & Order website:

Please forward this to everyone you know in the universe.

Proverbs 31:8-9

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