By Christopher Mateo
Good Will Ambassador for Global Fight against Human Trafficking Mira Sorvino visited the CSU Bakersfield campus to talk about the dangers and importance of fighting human trafficking.
The Dore Theater filled with CSU Bakersfield students and members of the Bakersfield community as the Kegley Institute of Ethics hosted their 31st Annual Charles W. Kegley Memorial Lecture.
The lecture was focused on encouraging the audience to understand and persuade them to stand against human trafficking.
“Hopefully [the victims’] stories will affect you so that you find your own personal path to abolitionism that you can yourselfs do something effective to stop slavery in your town,” said Sorvino.
For the first part of the Sorvino explained the start of her interest in the fight against human trafficking.
“I came to human trafficking out of the passion for investigating and fighting the [othering] of people, groups their treatments as subhuman, the devastating effects of switching off empathy,” said Sorvino. “Investigating prejudice, racism, and sexism became a passionate thing for me.”
Sorvino explained to the audience, that human trafficking affects everyone. It does not matter what kind of economic background, what race they are and or what gender the victim is.
According to Sorvino, the motives behind the trafficker in enslaving someone is simply to make money.
“In order for a trafficker to treat somebody as subhuman and as a thing, all they have to do is see an economic profit to be made off of them,” said Sorvino. “ If they can make money off of that person they will brutalize them, they will rape them, they will beat them, they will rape them in the service of making a profit off of them and others like them.”
According to Sorvino she thought that just understanding the root of racism, sexism and prejudice would help the world stop it from happening.
Sorvino was stunned when she realized that when it came to human trafficking, the traffickers only think about the profit they will be making out of a victim.
She explained that money is the root evil in the case of human trafficking because the abusers will put victims through anything just to profit.
According to Sorvino human trafficking is estimated to make $150 billion per year making it the second most profitable criminal enterprise, being surpassed by the drug trafficking.
For the second part of the lecture Sorvino went into anecdotes from when she met survivors of human trafficking.
One anecdote was of a woman who was a sanctuary for women who have been victims of human trafficking. That woman at one point upset a pimp she was working for and he punished her.
“One day she was insubordinate with him, said something wrong and he took an iron to her and then took the same iron the baby’s face, and the little baby was the toddler that I saw standing behind her. It didn’t compute that this was her daughter but now I saw it,” said Sorvino.
To end her lecture Sorvino provided a plethora of resources the audience can use to help report and participate against human trafficking. Including some of the resources Bakersfield has to offer.