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        9-13+

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        Why Is It Illegal to Sell People?: Examining Human Rights and Modern-Slavery

        This lesson plan uses the documentary film The Storm Makers to provide students with an opportunity to reflect on the causes and consequences of human trafficking.

        Lesson Summary

        This lesson plan uses the documentary film The Storm Makers to provide students with an opportunity to reflect on the causes and consequences of human trafficking.

        Time Allotment

        60 - 90 minutes (depending on length of discussion), plus homework.

        Learning Objectives

        • understand some of the causes and results of human trafficking in Cambodia
        • compare current human trafficking practices and consequences with the slave trade that brought Africans to the United States
        • write essays

        Prep for Teachers

        Note to teachers: The scenes depicted are intense and may evoke emotional reactions from students. You may wish to send a note home to parents prior to showing the film and talk with your school administrator about protocol for supporting students who have experienced similar traumas in their own lives.

        Supplies

        • Film clips from The Storm Makers and equipment on which to show them.

        Introductory Activity

        1. Introduction

        Introduce the topic by asking students: What is a human right? What types of rights do people need to survive and thrive as individuals and as a society? What human rights are most relevant to the people featured in The Storm Makers? (For additional context or information, students can explore the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights at http://www.un.org/en/documents/udhr/.)

        Ask students to summarize what they know about the causes and justifications of slavery in the antebellum United States. Be sure that they include economic interests, beliefs about dominion and white supremacy and "scientific" arguments that black Africans were inferior or less than human. Also ask for observations of the legacy of slavery today. What are/were the long-term consequences for the United States of its endorsement of and participation in slavery?

        Then ask what students know about modern-day slavery. Where and why does it occur and what are the consequences? Be sure they know that it happens everywhere (including the United States).

        To further explore these questions, tell students that they are going to see clips from the documentary film The Storm Makers, which is about human trafficking in Cambodia. They'll meet a teenager, Aya, and her parents.

        Learning Activities

        2. Introduce the Assignment

        After screening the film clips, each student will be asked to write a short essay on one of two topics. You can either let students pick one of these two options, or assign students one of the topics.

            1. Compare and contrast the causes and consequences of modern-day human trafficking in East Asia with the slave trade that shaped early America.
            2. Explain why we outlaw human trafficking, including a discussion of the concept of human rights, as well as the personal and societal consequences of the practice.

        3. Show and Discuss Clips

        Show all of the film clips in order. Pause briefly (as time allows) to share student reactions to what they see. Record the main points, key words and concepts brought up in your discussion by asking students to take notes individually and/or taking notes on a white board, poster board or other medium visible to all at the front of the class.

        Possible Discussion Topics

        Before introducing your own questions, solicit student responses. If the discussion doesn't touch on everything you want to cover, you might also ask some of these questions:

        Clip 1: "Background"

            • In terms of lasting impact, what's the difference between being sold for sex (generally what happens to women and girls) and being sold for labor (generally what happens to the men and boys)?

        Clip 2: "The Trafficker"

            • What are the motives of the trafficker? Who else is complicit? Why would villagers believe him? What strategies did he use to exploit the particular vulnerabilities of the villagers? Why do you suppose he hasn't been arrested?
            • Imagine what living in the kind of poverty depicted in the film looks and feels like on a daily basis. Why do you think people are so desperate to escape poverty that they are willing to be cruel and violate human rights?

        Clip 3: "Aya Tells Her Story"

            • How does Aya's experience change her as a person--how she feels about herself and her life? How might her resulting mental health issues influence her family, community and country (especially if you multiply her experience by the hundreds, or even thousands of other girls and women with similar stories)?

        Clip 4: "Aya's Father"

            • What role did poverty play in the family's choice to send Aya to Malaysia? How did trafficking change Aya's relationships with men, including her father? How did Aya's experience change her father?

        Clip 5: "Aya and Her Mother: The Argument"

            • How did human trafficking affect Aya's relationship with her mother? What role did belief in the good girl/bad girl dichotomy play?
            • What are the effects of blaming and/or shaming victims of human trafficking? What are the effects of victimizing them?

        Clip 6: "Aya and Her Son"

          • What did you learn from the film about the cyclical nature of abuse and how it carries over from one generation to the next?
        • What are the motives of the trafficker? Who else is complicit? Why would villagers believe him? What strategies did he use to exploit the particular vulnerabilities of the villagers? Why do you suppose he hasn't been arrested?
        • Imagine what living in the kind of poverty depicted in the film looks and feels like on a daily basis. Why do you think people are so desperate to escape poverty that they are willing to be cruel and violate human rights?

        Clip 3: "Aya Tells Her Story"

            • How does Aya's experience change her as a person--how she feels about herself and her life? How might her resulting mental health issues influence her family, community and country (especially if you multiply her experience by the hundreds, or even thousands of other girls and women with similar stories)?

        Clip 4: "Aya's Father"

            • What role did poverty play in the family's choice to send Aya to Malaysia? How did trafficking change Aya's relationships with men, including her father? How did Aya's experience change her father?

        Clip 5: "Aya and Her Mother: The Argument"

            • How did human trafficking affect Aya's relationship with her mother? What role did belief in the good girl/bad girl dichotomy play?
            • What are the effects of blaming and/or shaming victims of human trafficking? What are the effects of victimizing them?

        Clip 6: "Aya and Her Son"

          • What did you learn from the film about the cyclical nature of abuse and how it carries over from one generation to the next?
        • In terms of lasting impact, what's the difference between being sold for sex (generally what happens to women and girls) and being sold for labor (generally what happens to the men and boys)?

        Clip 2: "The Trafficker"

            • What are the motives of the trafficker? Who else is complicit? Why would villagers believe him? What strategies did he use to exploit the particular vulnerabilities of the villagers? Why do you suppose he hasn't been arrested?
            • Imagine what living in the kind of poverty depicted in the film looks and feels like on a daily basis. Why do you think people are so desperate to escape poverty that they are willing to be cruel and violate human rights?

        Clip 3: "Aya Tells Her Story"

            • How does Aya's experience change her as a person--how she feels about herself and her life? How might her resulting mental health issues influence her family, community and country (especially if you multiply her experience by the hundreds, or even thousands of other girls and women with similar stories)?

        Clip 4: "Aya's Father"

            • What role did poverty play in the family's choice to send Aya to Malaysia? How did trafficking change Aya's relationships with men, including her father? How did Aya's experience change her father?

        Clip 5: "Aya and Her Mother: The Argument"

            • How did human trafficking affect Aya's relationship with her mother? What role did belief in the good girl/bad girl dichotomy play?
            • What are the effects of blaming and/or shaming victims of human trafficking? What are the effects of victimizing them?

        Clip 6: "Aya and Her Son"

          • What did you learn from the film about the cyclical nature of abuse and how it carries over from one generation to the next?

        Culminating Activity

        4. Write

        Assign students to write essays on one of the two topics in the second step of the activity. To scaffold the task, you might want to assign them to address specific issues in their essays. (Depending on the topic, this may require outside research, either in class or as homework). Examples could include: How did economic insecurity contribute to the events seen in the clips? What current law governs human trafficking and what is the basis for that law? What specific arguments do human rights organizations make against human trafficking? What are some of the root causes of human trafficking, and what preventative measures could be taken?

        EXTENSIONS

            1. Find organizations in your community working to combat human trafficking. Investigate opportunities for interested students to get involved.
            2. Investigate incidences of human trafficking in the United States and compare them with the events in the film.
            3. Have students research Cambodia's history (the Khmer Rouge regime), culture, poverty rates/economy and gender roles/attitudes and then draw conclusions about which factors may contribute to human trafficking. Then have students conduct the same research in the United States and compare and contrast their findings.
            4. Ask students to write essays explaining the significance of the film's title, The Storm MakersWhat is the relationship between those who demand slavery, those who facilitate the supply for it and those who are victims of it? What makes traffickers and recruiters "storm makers," and what impact do they have on an individual, community and global scale? What attitudes, actions, reactions and circumstances bring "storm makers" to exploit and oppress other human beings?

        RESOURCES

        The Film

        The Storm Makers

        You can find links to additional resources at the film's websites:http://www.tipasaproduction.com/thestormmakers/en/
        and
        www.pbs.org/pov/thestormmakers
        The POV site includes a general discussion guide with additional activity ideas.

        POV: Media Literacy Questions for Analyzing POV Films
        http://www.pbs.org/pov/educators/media-literacy.php
        This list of questions provides a useful starting point for leading rich discussions that challenge students to think critically about documentaries.

        Human Trafficking

        Frederick Douglass Family Initiatives
        http://www.fdfi.org/
        Frederick Douglass Family Initiatives is an abolitionist organization whose founders are direct descendants of Frederick Douglass and Booker T. Washington. It creates curriculum and brings human trafficking prevention education into secondary schools throughout the United States.

        United Nations Action for Cooperation Against Trafficking in Persons: "Cambodia" and "Tools and Guidelines"
        Cambodia: http://un-act.org/countries/cambodia/
        Tools and Guidelines: http://un-act.org/background/tools-guidelines/
        The United Nations Action for Cooperation against Trafficking in Persons was established in 2014 to ensure a coordinated approach to combatting trafficking in persons in the greater Mekong subregion and beyond.

        United Nations Inter-Agency Project on Human Trafficking: "Counter-Trafficking Action Being Taken in Cambodia"
        www.no-trafficking.org/cambodia_action.html
        This page provides specific information on Cambodia, including links to relevant Cambodian laws and the nation's 2012 National Plan of Action on Trafficking in Persons and Sexual Exploitation. For more general information, including legal definitions, see the Human Trafficking page on the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime website: www.unodc.org/unodc/en/human-trafficking/what-is-human-trafficking.html

        U.S. Department of State: "Trafficking in Persons Report 2014"
        http://www.state.gov/j/tip/rls/tiprpt/2014/
        Each year the U.S. Department of State releases a report on human trafficking. This link is to the 2014 report. Of special interest is the section of the report on Cambodia:www.state.gov/j/tip/rls/tiprpt/countries/2014/226693.htm

        Cambodia

        Cambodian Information Center
        www.cambodia.org
        This unofficial site aggregates links to a wide range of content related to Cambodia.

        The Royal Embassy of Cambodia
        www.embassyofcambodia.org/links.html
        The website of the Cambodian embassy in Washington, D.C. offers official Cambodian government perspectives and links to government agencies, media outlets and more.

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