Human trafficking is modern day slavery. There are an estimated 27,000,000 people enslaved around the world today, more than at the height of the transatlantic slave trade.
According to the U.S. State Department, approximately 80 percent of trafficking victims are women and girls and 70 percent of them are forced into sexual exploitation.
This is the story of one survivor…
Mylene is 29 years old. She grew up in a rural province of the Philippines. As a teenager, Mylene was forced from brothel to bar to brothel in a vicious cycle where escape is difficult, where the only option is prostitution. She has been the sex slave of a policeman. She has been gifted to politicians. She has been forced to board docked ships to service seafarers. She gave birth to her son under these brutal conditions. None of this was her choice.
Gimikera presents the life of Mylene within the issue of human trafficking in the Philippines. Within the poverty, unemployment, corruption, international aid, media coverage, statistics and hype of trafficking, there are the people that actually go through it all. There are the ordinary people, like Mylene, who are victimized and forever transformed by this terrible injustice. There are the social workers, lawyers, and advocates who tirelessly fight to combat the issue. There is the organized crime and endemic corruption that allow trafficking to flourish and the complex economic and cultural factors that combine to create large populations desperate for work and vulnerable to exploitation.
Gimikera, or Streetwalker translated in English, depicts the reality of human trafficking in the Philippines through the eyes of Mylene capturing her triumphs and hardships as she struggles to put her life back together.
- Running time: 45 minutes
- Directors: Joy Domingo, Justin Hakuta
- Producer: Justin Hakuta
- Music: Nikhil Shetty, Pablo Rocha
- Format: DVD
- Available summer '09 on the HTP website