Stories of sex slavery constantly splash across the covers of newspapers or flash in bold letters on television. For most, it may just be another uncomfortable headline that makes us want to right the wrongs of the injustice for a mere few minutes. For others, tragically, it is their everyday life.
The best-selling book Half The Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity For Women Worldwide, which depicts the three main global crises — gender-based violence, maternal mortality and sex trafficking — was the basis for a short film by Chinese American actress Lucy Liu, who produced and directed the film, along with award-winning writing and producing team The Sibs (Megan Raney Aarons & Colin Keith Grey).
Taking just one chapter from the book, Liu and The Sibs expertly capture the inspirational story of Meena Haseena, an Indian girl who was captured into sex slavery by her own uncle at the age of 8 years old. For an entire decade, Meena was enslaved and even gave birth to two children while in captivity. The film follows Meena’s life after she was able to escape — she even managed to rescue her own children who were also being held in the same brothel.
The moving film that raised awareness for UNICEF’s Child Protection programs worldwide premiered in New York City on June 26, and also made its online debut on the film’s website, which you can watch here.