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UN to screen ‘Love Sonia’ to mark the International Day of the Girl Child on 11 October

UN to screen ‘Love Sonia’ to mark the International Day of the Girl Child on 11 October

by Yash Saboo September 24 2018, 2:29 pm Estimated Reading Time: 2 mins, 18 secs

Love Sonia, a complex, inspiring, and harrowing tale of a 17-year-old girl Sonia who is out to rescue her sister from the clutches of sex traffickers opened in theatres to the general public on 14th September after already being screened at various international film galas. It was also the opening film at the Film Festival of Melbourne (IFFM) and was honoured with the Best Indie Film award. The film opened in theatres with fairly good reviews and was appreciated for the strong performances of the characters.

The film, starring newcomer Mrunal Thakur as the title character along with Riya Sisodiya, Freida Pinto, Demi Moore, Manoj Bajpayee, Richa Chadda, Anupam Kher, Adil Hussain, and Rajkummar Rao, will now be screened at the United Nations in New York on October 11, the International Day of the Girl Child. The screening will be hosted by the UN Office for Drugs and Crime and Indian anti-trafficking organization, Apne Aap Women Worldwide.

“Art is a powerful advocacy tool to raise awareness and we hope this beautifully acted thoughtful film will move people to take action against the scourge of sex trafficking," said Simone Monasebian, Director of the UN Office for Drugs and Crime.

According to the UNODC, human trafficking is the third largest crime in the world, involving billions of dollars and victimizing thousands of people, especially women and children, reports Hindustan Times. In 2014 the International Labour Organization estimated $150 billion in annual profit is generated from forced labour alone.

India is also a destination for human trafficking. In the year 2016 alone, 8132 human trafficking cases have been reported in India. The major reason for trafficking females is for sexual exploitation and in males is for forced labour irrespective of their age.

In India, the trafficking in persons for commercial sexual exploitation, forced labour, forced marriages and domestic servitude is considered an organized crime. The Government of India applies the Criminal Law (Amendment) Act 2013, active from 3 February 2013, as well as Section 370 and 370A IPC, which defines human trafficking and "provides stringent punishment for human trafficking; trafficking of children for exploitation in any form including physical exploitation; or any form of sexual exploitation, slavery, servitude or the forced removal of organs."

Despite the laws against it, human trafficking is widespread, which Love Sonia rightly portrays. Despite the disjointed narrative, which leaps from one idea to another, the unconvincing plot turns, and the unending agony that awaits Sonia at every turn, the movie doesn’t waver from its focus on the inherently exploitative nature of sex work, noted

"It's an honour for us to screen our film Love Sonia for the UN. I feel privileged and I am looking forward to the screening on the October 11 in New York," director Tabrez Noorani said.

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