TIP Award Year:
Guy Jacobson first became aware of the issue of child sex trafficking when he was propositioned by children younger than 7 in Cambodia. He began to research and explore, and what he found horrified him. He was, at the time, a lawyer and an investment banker. He teamed up with Adi Ezroni, an Israeli Actress and producer, to begin a project that would include a documentary highlighting child trafficking in Cambodia, and an independent feature film telling the story of the rescue of one girl from child prostitution. The result was the film “Holly,” which premiered across the globe, bringing worldwide attention to the trafficking of underage victims for sexual exploitation in parts of Southeast Asia. The screenings of Holly came with a press kit, and have been used to attempt to solicit funding for projects related to combatting modern-day slavery. At great personal risk to their safety and their livelihood, both Ezroni and Jacobson put in countless hours on a project that has built an incredible amount of awareness about this issue. The film was screened by the UN GIFT Forum in February 2008, and the trafficking experts in attendance praised the film’s content and message.
Alongside the award-winning feature film, the pair produced several documentaries. One highlighted the trade of children in Cambodia and Southeast Asia, and the other showed the team’s efforts across the three years of filming for both Holly and The Virgin Harvest. The documentary shows how the team’s dedicated efforts helped them to overcome great and terrifying difficulties to create materials that have helped to spread their message worldwide. In 2008, Guy Jacobson and Adi Ezroni were given a Trafficking in Persons Report Hero Award in recognition for their contributions to anti-human trafficking work. They continued to spread awareness through these films, and through showings and lectures, through 2011.
In the 2014 TIP Report, Cambodia was listed as a source, transit, and destination country, and placed on a Tier 2 watch list. Sex trafficking is common, in and out of the country, as is trafficking for the purposes of forced labor or domestic servitude. The country making efforts to comply with the minimum requirements of the TVPA, but has not yet done so.