Greetings from The Slave Detective,

I watched a film this evening called ‘The Lives of Others’.


It is not a Human Trafficking Film. I do watch other ‘stuff’!

The film involves the monitoring of the cultural scene of East Berlin by agents of the “Stasi” , The East German (GDR) Secret Police.

This was a time when Germany was divided and West Berlin was right in the middle of East Germany. The vibrant ‘West’ in the Communist Controlled East.

It is about state oppression and ‘doing what you are told without question’.

It is based upon a true story!

I visited both East and West Berlin during those times and it was a stark contrast of cultures in one City.  I was in my 20’s but the memory of the two cities divided by ‘The Wall’ remains with me. I have yet to return to the Free Berlin I’m ashamed to say.

In ‘The Lives of Others’ it was a time when almost everyone was a Police informer. The film is about freedom of speech. Freedom of thought. I commend you to watch it if you can stand films with subtitles.

It won The ‘Best Foreign Film’ Oscar in 2006.

After I had watched it I was struck by how lucky I am that I have my freedom.

I can write exactly what I like on this page and the only real restriction is a self-imposed one…if no one reads it then it is pointless writing. To date 9,500 people say it is worth a read!!

I then began to dwell on the fact that not only do I have my own freedom to write this blog, but because I wasn’t born into abstract poverty, (I wasn’t born into wealth either!) I am not subject to exploitation for others gain.

I’m sure someone could argue that I am being exploited in some way or other.

The real fact of the matter is I can speak out freely if I think something is wrong.

If I feel wronged I can, without fear of reprisal, address this. It matters not than few are interested in my opinion but the fact that I can, should I so desire, walk away from a situation or stand and fight.

How many people in the world don’t have that right, either implied or enforced?

How many of those persons are actually in your street?

How many of you actually look to see if they are in your street?

Is it our problem or does the ‘ownership’ belong with others?

If you read my blogs you know that I strongly believe we can all make a difference to stop slavery. The power is with those who are able to read this article to ensure others are free to speak out and feel empowered.

I spoke to someone recently who came across a lady crying in the street. It occurred to this person that the lady might be in trouble. Because of a conversation with me this person thought the lady may even be trafficked.

This person approached the lady and asked if she was alright. The conversation continued and the offer of help was declined with gratitude. It probably wasn’t a Trafficked person crying.

But it might have been. I guess we are all often so busy in our own little worlds that we forget that other people have lives very differently to ours. We immediately judge everyone on how our daily life experiences carry us through where we are.

By paying attention to our surroundings we all might save ONE person from Slavery.

This may be indirectly by purchasing ‘Fair Trade’ Goods or by speaking to that person, child or helpless being in the street.
Would you know what to do if you came across a trafficked person?

Do you really understand what Trafficking is?

I’m not 100% sure I really know. But I’m working on understanding it every day.

So don’t be like an East German Boarder Guard…just standing there watching without questioning. Rip down the barrier and discover what is out there.



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