When thinking about who to have front a serious investigation into child-trafficking in one of the poorest countries in the world, the name Lindsay Lohan surely can’t have sprung first to anyone’s mind?
However, the BBC did indeed choose Lohan, and though I was incredulous at their choice at first, it soon became apparent that it didn’t actually matter who was fronting it. The harrowing and horrific stories told themselves, but perhaps Lohan’s often justifiably tear stained face was intended to draw an audience who wouldn’t ordinarily tune in to such a documentary.
Lindsay was – of course – in India and heard horror story after horror story about the fate of thousands of poverty stricken children who seem to be of no value to their society other than as forms of currency.
Many were sold by their families into slavery and/or prostitution, others were forcibly taken from their families and others went willingly, believing they could find a brighter future away from their homes.
And there were some dreadfully shocking moments – as if the sum of all this film’s parts weren’t bad enough. One such moment came when Lindsay heard from one mother how her daughter had telephoned her to tell her she was being abused by the traffickers who’d taken her to Delhi.
The girl’s mother had, so she said, told her daughter, “In the beginning you’re bound to get beaten. Otherwise, how will you learn anything?”
When your parents agree with those abusing you that it’s in your best interests, abandoning hope is your only hope it would seem.
As I said, this was just one monstrous story among many, and to give her her due, Lindsay displayed a dignity and gravitas that her media reputation belied, and it transpired that she was indeed a good choice to present this film.
If you missed it, you can catch it here on BBC’s iPlayer, and though it is without doubt one of the most harrowing films I’ve ever seen, it’s valuable in that it continues to highlight – and therefore hopefully help to stop – the horrendous business of child trafficking.