January 7, 2008
NBC TV's popular Law & Order series will air an episode centered on the child slave trade, a story-line inspired by the work of Carr Center Fellow Benjamin Skinner.
Law & Order tells a compelling story of child slavery in New York on
Wednesday night on NBC at 10 PM/9 central.
Two detectives on the show are investigating a double murder when they uncover and a child slave trade ring between Haiti and New York.
"This is one of those rare episodes that touched everyone who worked on it," says Executive Producer Rene Balcer about what he calls probably the most powerful episode of the season. Rene told Free the Slaves, "Even our crusty thick-skinned editors were moved to tears by the ending. It also opened a lot of eyes to the present-day, modern-world reality of slavery and indentured servitude. I would urge everyone who, as a result of this e-blast, watches the episode to call NBC thanking them for allowing the writers and producers of Law & Order to shine a spotlight on this issue." [NBC Viewer Services at 212-664-5740]
From Free the Slaves:
Getting slavery into the mainstream is a core goal of FTS. We're thrilled that one of the most popular TV shows in history is highlighting slavery. The producers of the show were inspired to write the episode, "Chattel", after reading 'A Crime So Monstrous' by Ben Skinner. Ben traveled around the world researching slavery and visiting FTS' partners including in Haiti.
The show illustrates some of the psychological complexity of working with the victims of slavery who have spent years living with deprivation and fear. Keep in mind, the episode is not a documentary so when you hear Sam Waterson say there are no anti-trafficking statutes in New York – thankfully that is no longer true. In fact, New York recently passed an anti-trafficking law and is one of 40 states that have criminal anti-trafficking statutes on the books. But only half of those states have victim protection laws to help the survivors of slavery.
You can find out more about child domestic slavery in Haiti [the restavek system] and what FTS is doing with partners to combat it here: http://www.freetheslaves.net/LimyeLavi
And…FTS is featured on the Law & Order website: http://www.nbc.com/Law_and_Order/