Human trafficking is an increasing problem in the Middle East, particularly as women and children are made vulnerable after being displaced by violence. In some Middle Eastern countries there is also the issue of acceptable temporary marriages, where girls as young as nine years old can be married for as little as a few hours.
The repercussions of this kind of human trafficking are huge. If a girl manages to escapes and return home, despite being a victim, she will often be met with with judgement and condemnation for the shame it is perceived she has brought with her.
MEM is raising awareness about human trafficking and child brides in the region and breaking the silence on this taboo issue through powerful campaign films, as well as providing compassionate support for its victims. We work with governmental and legal entities in North Africa, and have established a network of over 20 non-profit and charitable organisations to combat human trafficking.
A high-level consultant in North Africa commented that the work our team has been doing on human trafficking has been changing people’s attitudes and beliefs. He said he worked with many NGOs and charities, but haven’t seen that impact as our work has had.
In March 2018 we launched a 55-minute film on human trafficking, based on three real stories from our work with victims. The event took place in the major Middle Eastern Country with representatives from the Parliament and NGOs trying to combat human trafficking in that particular country.
This project raises awareness of human trafficking and forced marriage, as well as providing rehabilitation and integration of trafficked women. We provide educational media packs and support for victims of human trafficking, providing them with access to counselling and legal advice. Using established MEM websites, we communicate about this taboo issue, highlighting the dangers and giving hope to those who have suffered in this underground industry.
Through this work we seek to make clear that the girls sold into this industry are victims who have suffered horrific ordeals and need to be loved and accepted back into their homes. Having developed an educational curriculum, we partner with local, national and international non-profit and charitable organisations, providing qualified practical support to victims and raising awareness amongst families potentially vulnerable to human traffickers.
MEM has a team of young people developing new, relevant material for other young people in the region. We also have a huge back-catalogue of content – many of our original TV productions are still broadcast around the region on national and satellite TV stations. More recent projects, covering taboo issues such as human trafficking, HIV/AIDS and the rape of street children, are still highly relevant and need exposure in the Middle East. We are making our back catalogue available on our first ever online TV channel.