News

Film reveals sex slave trade

Jason Bray and Mike Crowhurst made a documentary exposing South-East Asia’s child sex industry.
Jason Bray and Mike Crowhurst made a documentary exposing South-East Asia’s child sex industry.

COAST filmmakers Jason Bray and Mike Crowhurst admit they had no idea what they were getting into when they set out to make a documentary exposing South-East Asia's child sex industry.

Sneaking hidden cameras into derelict clubs in the Philippines was dangerous enough, without the risk of running foul of the Russian mafia who run the trade in child prostitutes.

The men are founders of independent film company Red Tree Earth and the result of their risks is a gut-wrenching documentary, Street Dreams, which lifts the lid on the plight of children in the sex slave industry.

The pair, who have previously done a film about chroming (paint-sniffing) addiction, are committed to giving a voice to people who don't have one.

It was during a business trip to the Philippines that Mr Bray came across a young girl working as a prostitute and realised he had the basis for a great story. But, Mr Crowhurst admits, they were totally unaware of what the project had in store for them.

"This was the first time we had done anything like this," he said.

"We had no idea what we were getting ourselves into.

"Some of the trafficking groups are run by the Russian mafia and people have received death threats before for taking (rescuing) too many girls."

Mr Crowhurst said there was an element of fear as they carried hidden cameras while they were portraying themselves as sex tourists.

"There's heavy corruption through the police and the government. We didn't want to step the wrong way and get noticed."

And while the documentary is proving to be an eye opener for audiences around Australia, Mr Crowhurst said his perceptions would never be the same.

"You know a little bit about it, but until you actually go and see someone live in squalor and people that have been chained to their bed for years as a pleasure machine for men; you have no idea how bad it is," he said.

"It was absolutely confronting what we found.

"We wanted to put everything on screen but we didn't want to repulse people.

"The things that don't make it on screen are horrific and humans shouldn't have to be put through it.

"It really hits the heart."

The main subject of the documentary is Destiny Rescue, a Sunshine Coast group fighting to rescue people from the sex slave industry.

Founded in 2001, it operates in Cambodia, Mozambique, Thailand and India, rescuing sex slaves and helping them recover and rebuild their lives.

Destiny Rescue business development manager Michael Keeffe said the main purpose of the documentary was to raise awareness of the problem.

"UNICEF figures show that 1.2 million children are being sold into slavery every year," he said.

"That equals one child every 26 seconds.

"This isn't just an Asian problem - it's worldwide.

"It's also an Australian problem in the sense that Aussie men are the biggest users in South-East Asia."

Mr Keeffe said the film was already inspiring people to become involved.

"People are confronted and shocked by the size and scope of this problem," he said.

"In the film, the youngest girl rescued is five years old.

"People want to engage with us after seeing the film and find out what they can do to help."

While Destiny Rescue makes about 25 rescues a month and has 1300 people in its care, Mr Keeffe said it was not enough.

"What we've done so far is great, but it's a drop in the ocean compared to the problem we are faced with."

For more information about Destiny Rescue or how to get involved go to destinyrescue.org or call 1300 738 761.

Topics:  sex slavery



Family and friends unite to help after son's death

The Maskell family with son and bother Jack (centre) who died in a motorcycle crash on Friday.

Jack Maskell died in a traffic crash late last week

Hospital emergency: Thousands clog ED with minor issues

EMERGENCY CALL: Ipswich Hospital's emergency department has been swamped in the past 12 months by people presenting with very minor issues.

Residents need to stop presenting with only minor treatment issues

QT’s name and shame: This week’s drink and drug drivers

Senior Constable Simon Cook with the RBT bus at Tweed Police Station Photo Blainey Woodham / Daily News

This week's convicted drink and drug drivers

Local Partners

Marilyn Manson wants a 'nice' girl

Marilyn Manson wants a girl who understands both of his identities

Angelina turns to Depp for consolation after divorce

Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie with their six children

Angelina Jolie is reportedly being consoled by Johnny Depp

Rockhampton dancer en pointe for European stages

CENTRE STAGE: Anastasia Lewis has moved from Rockhampton to Sydney to study classical ballet.

Rocky dancer believes competitions are the perfect preparation

Conner's food distraction leads to elimination

Australian Survivor contestant Conner Bethune.

HUNGER gets to castaway as Australian Survivor's tribes merge.

Bonus point gets Dan and Carleen over the line on The Block

Dan and Carleen in their winning living and dining rooms in a scene from The Block.

BABY boomers win living and dining week as show hits halfway mark.

Olivia Wilde having a girl

Olivia Wilde revealed she is expecting a baby girl.

Housing report points to a lift in local market

AFFORDABLE HOMES: First home buyers have the opportunity to purchase modern new homes in the Ipswich region for under $400,000.

Region shaping up as the "final frontier” for affordable housing

Five ways to slash household bills and save the environment

THINK GREEN: Considering the environment when building or buying your next home can save you big dollars. The Village Building Company, who is responsible for Woodlinks Village at Collingwood Park, builds homes with this front of mind.

THERE is nothing as sweet as slashing dollars from your bills.

Investors out-bid first-home buyers in booming market

Housing generic.

Ipswich's housing market is putting more cash into sellers’ pockets

Another Ripley development

THE ENTRANCE: An overview of the last planned development for the fast growing Ripley area.

85 more home lots released

Property 200m from ocean selling for just over $100K

BEACHCOMBER PARK: Work has started on a new $19.2 million development at Toogoom.

The estate's developer is offering huge discounts for early buyers.

UPDATE: Former rodeo champ's sale rained out, now back on

Larkhill local Ken Consiglio is having an auction of most of the things on his property.

'People kept showing up and we had to turn them away'