Saturday, March 04, 2006

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More about Tom Marfo and Ruth Hopkins:

Interviews by Pete Sawyer.

Breaking the Spell (about Tom Marfo, Ghanian priest in Amsterdam)
(...) Marfo works with what the Dutch Government terms 'illegal immigrants', whom he prefers to call 'undocumented people'. He has rescued countless young African women smuggled into the Netherlands and forced by criminal gangs to work as prostitutes-virtual slaves. (...) Marfo first came to Amsterdam in 1988. 'I loved the canals, the relative calmness of the city compared to life in London at the time. But there was one thing that really shocked me. My puritanical psyche was completely jolted when I went to the Red Light District. I didn't know there was anything like that in this world. 'I couldn't stand the fact that they were involved in prostitution and were naked and it was like it was normal. From my spiritual perspective it was wrong. More importantly it was extremely degrading to the women. I saw a lot of Africans and I knew immediately something was wrong. (...)

Into the heart of darkness (about Ruth Hopkins, Dutch journalist, reports about human trafficking in the Netherlands)
(...) 'By accident, I interviewed a trafficker. In 2000, prostitution had just been legalized. I wanted to talk to the women [in a brothel] and to a brothel owner to ask them what they thought of the new laws,' she explains.' I talked to the owner for about three hours. It took some time for it to dawn on me. "What did he just say? He bought women? Jesus, how can you buy people?" This was suburbia, where people were interested in their gardens, yet there was this guy living right next to them buying and selling women for the sex industry. (...)

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