Made famous in North America by such chronic-cannabis-smoking duos like Harold and Kumar and Cheech and Chong, Amsterdam has widely become known as the pot-smoker's number one travel destination of choice. However, it's the allure of sex-tourism in the city's Red Light District that attracts some to experience the seedy underground culture.
It seems that Amsterdam's reputation has begun to precede itself, and people are starting to finally take notice of its worldwide reputation. Known for it's unconventional and alternative way of life, the city of Amsterdam appears to be receiving it's fair share of pressure and scrutiny under the media spotlight -- and for good reason.
A topic worth concern, this is also the subject of one of the web's most recent globally trending videos. International anti-slavery organization Stop The Traffik has launched a campaign in an effort to bring awareness to the epidemic of human trafficking. Since it's release on YouTube on April 4, the video has gone completely viral with nearly one million views in just under a month.
Although government officials are now attempting to control the city's infamous cannabis culture (or at least changing the rules for tourists), there is still much to be done about an issue that rarely receives media coverage.
Whether we hear about it often or not, sex trafficking is an international issue that must be addressed. Newly recognized and not often talked about, this topic is one that certainly deserves some attention for the sake of thousands of young lives.
Created by Dutch advertising agency Duval Guillaume Modem, the 1:40 video features six provocatively dressed women who appear to be sex workers, dancing in the lit-up brothel window's of Amsterdam's Red Light District. The women dance to the rhythm of an electric dubstep beat as a crowd gathers to stop and stare, gazing on as the dancers give the performance of their lives. The surprised crowd becomes entranced by the performance, while having no suspicion that the women are not attempting to entice, but to educate.
As the dance number wraps, jaws drop and the crowd goes into shock as a billboard above the brothel is revealed, reading: "Every year, thousands of women are promised a dance career in Western Europe. Sadly, they end up here. Stop the Traffik. People shouldn't be bought or sold."
As The Nat and Marie Show intern, I became aware of this video through watching the show, as it was featured as one of the viral videos last week. Not only does the video manage to create awareness to this devastating issue, but it also scares people into thinking about what actually takes place while our backs are turned the other way. Maybe what we need is a good ol' scare tactic to get our attention and initiate a much deserved wake-up call to issues that require attention on an international level.
Watch "Girls Going Wild in Red Light District" now and let us know if this video changed the way you look at sex trafficking and if you're inclined to share it.
To learn more or to join the Stop The Traffik effort, visit stopthetraffik.org.