The Lindsay Lohan Chronicles

April 1, 2010

Lindsay Lohan in West Bengal. Copyright: British Broadcasting Corporation, 2010
Lindsay Lohan in West Bengal. Copyright: British Broadcasting Corporation, 2010

For you, the gentle reader, I plumb the depths of the internet looking for content to inform, entertain, and perhaps piss off the folks expecting to read about human rights.  Well, today I have to thank Lindsay Lohan for making this arduous task that much easier for me.  Yes, for some reason the venerable British Broadcasting Corporation chose the esteemed actress and socialite (is there such a thing as an esteemed socialite?) to do a documentary on child trafficking in India.

I’m actually serious– this is not an April Fool’s Day joke.  It is actually true.  Lindsay Lohan has done a documentary of child trafficking in India.  See the cringe-inducing one minute preview above.

Despite the possibly dodgy decision by the BBC to use Ms Lohan in this documentary, I wonder if it is a blessing in disguise.  People who are unfamiliar with child trafficking as a human rights issue, but are familiar with the work of Lindsay Lohan might be educated on the issue.

Child trafficking in India is  at epidemic levels despite efforts to combat it.  Many (upwards of 40%) of the children trafficked into India are from Nepal.  There is also cult-like group in the Indian state of Karnataka who worship the goddess Yellamma and send their children (initiated as devadasi) who are trafficked to other parts of India supposedly as part of their devotion to this goddess.  It is estimated that hundreds of thousands of girls are trafficked for prostitution.  Their lives are short and brutal, many suffer from sexually transmitted diseases.  In places like Mumbai, children as young as nine are sold at auctions reminiscent of slavery.  The testimony of Anita, a young Nepalese girl trapped in a life of prostitution is worth a read.  Maybe if even one of these girls benefit from Lindsay Lohan’s documentary, then perhaps it will be worth it.