Illuminating the World of Modern-day Slavery
Speech by Lisa Kristine
Speech Review by Kitty XUE
Lisa Kristen’s speech astonished the audience by simply presenting lives of slaves all over the world, and it is undoubtedly a successful one: her voice low and grave, full of sympathy and grief; her photos soundless yet visually and emotionally powerful. Perhaps because Kristen has seen all these slaves with her own eyes, she talks in a way that makes people feel that these stories are no longer lives of mere strangers in some remote country, but lives of someone that the audience know of—lives of ordinary people, who should have had a peaceful life. Her speech leaves people ashamed of their ignorance about the seriousness of the existing slavery in the modern world. Among various groups of slaves witnessed by Lisa Kristen were sex slaves in Nepal. The story of a sex slave in Nepal usually starts with poverty. In a country where half of the population is unemployed, young girls and their family members are easily lured by the job promises made by the so-called “job hunters”. Poor young girls follow the “job hunters” in the hope of getting a well-paid job, and a decent life in big cities like Kathmandu. Very often, however, they end up in a filthy hell known as “the cabin restaurant”. There, they are trafficked as sex slaves. Curtains are drawn to provide privacy for each room in the restaurant, or to be more precise, to provide privacy for the customers’ sexual harassments. The girls are expected to serve food and drinks to these rooms, but more importantly, to satisfy the male customers’ demands so that the sale can boost. Eventually, the girls will have to, willing or not, start prostitute themselves to entertain the money payers (Mavrich, “City in Focus: Kathmandu, Nepal”). Girls that refuse to comply are often physically intimidated by the cabin owner; some are said to have been hit by wires, rods and hot spoons (Ruffins, “Rescuing Girls from...
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