TAYLA DE MELLO
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вЂњI think thatвЂ™s the source of change. You begin to see these people as people, just like you or me. And you love them.вЂќ.
I think thatвЂ™s the source of change. You begin to see these people as people, just like you or me. And you love them.
He explained how creating the film affected his walk with Christ and his understanding of GodвЂ™s love, вЂњI have learned that I am really not in control. God is the director of this documentary and of our lives.вЂќ Listening to the women reminds us that these systems are perpetuated by our own brokenness. Their stories are like a mirror to our own hearts.
He is humbled, filled with compassion, and learning that we are inspired to love as Christ loves and accepts us regardless of our pasts. We are able to love, because of the way God loves and forgives us. Jason is reminded that God uses broken people like him to do incredible things and that God also wants this injustice to end.
вЂњItвЂ™s a balance between being an advocate for change and realizing that, if God isnвЂ™t with us, this is all for nothing. We are able to do this, because of our faith in Him.вЂќ.
I asked if it was difficult to film a documentary that stood in stark contrast to the other works they have produced. He replies, вЂњItвЂ™s very different from what we have done before. Instead of developing our own [stories], we get stories from real people . and we embrace it even if itвЂ™s hard. It has been a challenge, but it is exciting . it has pushed us to grow as a production company.
вЂњWe feel really privileged to make this documentary and that we have the opportunity to share this story. I want people to know that we all have a responsibility in the change that we want to see. I really believe that human trafficking is the biggest injustice of this generation and together we have the tools to bring it to an end.вЂќ.
We all have a responsibility in the change that we want to see.
Suit Has South Korea Looking Anew at Its Hard Line on Prostitution.
SEOUL, South Korea — Kim Jeong-mi, a 43-year-old prostitute in Seoul, says she knows about humiliation. She usually charges customers 20,000 to 30,000 won, or about $18 to $27 — roughly a third of what her younger competition gets. When desperate, she has gone as low as 10,000 won. She has felt people sneering.
But what happened in July 2012 was too much to accept, she says. Three uniformed male police officers raided her room while she was with a customer. During such raids, the police typically collect a used condom or other evidence from a bedside trash can.
But that night, she says, the officers made her get dressed for questioning while they watched and took photographs, “giving me no time to keep the least dignity as a human.”
So she pushed back.
She challenged the 500,000 won fine from the police. With the help of an advocacy group, she also filed a lawsuit asking the Constitutional Court of South Korea to strike down a law that, besides criminalizing prostitution, calls on the state to root it out. In April, after two years of deliberation, largely through consulting documents, the court held a public hearing, which lawyers said indicated that the nine justices were nearing a decision. The case follows the decision in February to decriminalize adultery, a landmark ruling that analysts said reflected changing social attitudes toward sex.
“I want what I do to be recognized as a job, a legitimate way of making a living,” Ms. Kim said recently. “This is better than stealing for a living, isn’t it?”
South Korea has always outlawed prostitution, stipulating fines or a prison sentence of up to a year for prostitutes and their customers and harsher penalties for pimps and brothel owners. Still, it tended to look the other way as red-light districts prospered.
That changed after 14 young prostitutes, trapped in their rooms, died during a fire in 2002. Amid public outrage, the government began a more aggressive campaign against the sex trade, and an overhauled statute took effect in 2004. It called not merely for preventing prostitution, but for eradicating it.
Police crackdowns have since become more frequent. The number of red-light districts in the country fell to 44 in 2013, from 69 in 2002, according to government figures, and the number of women working in those districts fell to 5,100 from 9,100. In 2013, the police investigated more than 8,600 cases of prostitution. The government has cited these figures as evidence that the new law is working.
But prostitutes and other critics of the law say those numbers failed to account for the many women selling sex at bars, on social networking services and through smartphone dating apps. These represent a more shadowy side of the sex industry that those critics contend is expanding because of the crackdowns on red-light districts and leaves the women involved more vulnerable to abusive customers, pimps and others. (In South Korea, homosexuality largely remains a taboo subject; the issue of male prostitutes catering to male clients is seldom discussed in public and has not been raised in the current debate.)
“These are women struggling to make a living despite a social stigma. Should we drive them to death by branding them again as criminals?” asked Park Kyung-shin, a professor of law at Korea University in Seoul. He was referring to the November death of a 24-year-old single mother who jumped out of a sixth-floor motel room to escape a police raid.
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