Undercover Investigation

"A number of students have been ‘mapping slavery' in San Francisco. They would find massage parlors that were advertising hot new Asian girls weekly," says Justin Dillon. "We decided to go undercover to see if these girls were actually there against their will, selling sex instead of massages."

 

Justin and his team wire themselves with microphones and hidden cameras and pretend to be johns from out of town. 

"My biggest fear is always safety. You don't know who's in the back room. You don't know if there's another exit," Justin explains. "If they find that you have a camera, there could be trouble."

 

Justin describes the environment inside the massage parlor. "The door opened up, and the mama-san began to parade young Asian girls in front of us in their underwear," he recalls. "The girls were very young and not from here."

 

Now, one year later, the massage parlor has been shut down. "What was once a brothel is now a tanning salon," he says.

"You had to be stunned at what you saw, particularly when you're up close and personal to such young girls," Dr. Phil says to Justin.

"Absolutely," he replies. "I think the most stunning piece of it is that it's happening in our financial districts. It's not just out in rural areas or outside of our lives. It's right in the center of what's happening here in our lives."

Dr. Phil praises Call + Response as an excellent documentary and suggests people go out and see it. He says, "I heard in there that there have been, like, 50 arrests in 10 years with so many people being trafficked. Why aren't these people being arrested?"

"It's so hard for law enforcement to identify a victim, largely because often victims can't identify themselves," says Julia Ormond, activist and actress featured in Call + Response. She adds that in Call + Response there is footage of young women, often in Asia, who offer sexual services eagerly, but when police come raid the brothels, the young kids get upset and cry, because the trafficker has convinced them that he or she is their only way to survive. "When policeman go in, the kid is weary of them. The woman is weary of them," Julia says. "Traffickers are very violent. They will threaten to kill the person's family, to kill them. Even if they're behind bars, they can just lift up the phone and contact people."

Dr. Phil asks Julia to talk about the ASSET " Alliance to Stop Slavery and End Trafficking " a non-governmental organization she started to support the Unite Nation's mission to end slavery.

"We focus on enabling the corporation to protect their supply chain from being infiltrated by slavery," she explains. "Go on to the site, click on a brand [and] sign on to a letter. We'll send the letters to the corporations to say, ‘Please do something about it,' and we'll then take that process further."