Enquiries & explanations


Enquiries & explanations

Click or tap on the questions below to learn more about our work:

What is 'The Human, Earth Project'?

‘The Human, Earth Project’ is a grassroots organisation founded in February 2013 to raise awareness of the global human trafficking crisis.

Founder Ben Randall was inspired by the abduction and suspected trafficking of May, a young Hmong friend from Vietnam.

There are two key components to the project: ‘Sisters For Sale’, and ‘Epic’.

What is 'Sisters For Sale'?

‘Sisters For Sale’ is a powerful and very personal exploration of the complex realities of human trafficking, to be released as a feature documentary, a book, and a 10-part podcast.

Filmed in 2014 and 2015 in Vietnam and China, the documentary follows Ben’s search for his trafficked Hmong friends May and Pang.

Ben risks his life and tackles overwhelming odds to locate May and Pang in distant regions of China, where they have been sold to local men.

Having given birth in China, each young woman faces a decision no mother should ever have to make: the choice between her child and her own freedom.

Refusing to accept the role of victims, May and Pang transform their personal tragedies into a dramatic story of hope and courage.

The documentary will be released in 2019, with the book and potential podcast to follow.

How can I see 'Sisters For Sale'?

‘Sisters For Sale’ is being submitted to film festivals in North America, Europe and around the world.

Those of you who have pre-ordered the film will be notified by email when the film is available online.

Otherwise, please subscribe to our mailing list for updates on when and where ‘Sisters For Sale’ will be available.

Who are May and Pang?

May and Pang are young Hmong women from the mountains of northern Vietnam.

They were born into impoverished families and had very little formal education. From a young age, May and Pang began selling handicrafts and treks to tourists on the streets of Sapa.

Ben first met May and Pang in 2010, while teaching English in Sapa. At this time the girls were 14 years old.

May and Pang were kidnapped in separate incidents in 2011.

Who are the Hmong people?

The Hmong people are an ethnic group originating from China, now dispersed across northern Vietnam, Laos, Thailand and the world.

Marginalised both geographically and economically, the Vietnamese Hmong tend to live in small rural communities with highly traditional gender roles.

With high levels of poverty and ineducation, these communities are ideal targets for human trafficking.

What is human trafficking?

Human trafficking is a violation of our most basic human rights. It involves buying and selling other human beings, usually for sex or forced labour.

Along with the trafficking of drugs and weapons, human trafficking is one of the world’s largest criminal industries – and it is growing every year.

While there are no precise statistics, according to the 2016 Global Slavery Index there are now an estimated 45.8 million human trafficking victims around the world.

Amongst the Hmong communities of northern Vietnam, the major factors leading to human trafficking are poverty, in education, the Chinese ‘one-child’ policy, and the custom of marriage by abduction.

You can find out more information on our Human Trafficking page.

What is the 'one-child' policy?

The ‘one-child’ policy was designed to control population growth in China, by allowing couples to have only one child.

With a Chinese cultural preference for male children, tens of millions of baby girls were killed, abandoned or aborted.

This led to the world’s most serious gender imbalance, and created a demand for young women trafficked from neighbouring countries, including Vietnam.

Although the policy was relaxed in 2015, its devastating effects will continue for at least another generation.

What is marriage by abduction?

Marriage by abduction is a violent Hmong tradition allowing a young man to kidnap a girl and hold her captive in his home for several days, while he negotiates her marriage with her family.

This custom may be considered a form of human trafficking in itself, and in Vietnam it facilitates a more insidious trade in trafficking girls to China.

While some Hmong communities have recognised this tradition as harmful and have successfully stopped it, it continues in other areas, including the Sapa region.

What is 'Epic'?

‘Epic’ is a film and photography project centred around an epic search for 100 strangers to raise awareness of human trafficking.

In 2013, Ben returned to Asia to find 100 local people he’d photographed five years earlier, to see them as more than just faces or numbers.

Most of these people are poor and poorly educated, the demographic most at risk of human trafficking.

After an incredible journey across 10 countries in 10 months, Ben found no less than 80 of these people, including an Indonesian man who spent three years as a slave.

The ‘Epic’ stories will be produced as a series of documentaries after the completion of ‘Sisters For Sale’.

Who are 'The Human, Earth Project'?

‘The Human, Earth Project’ was founded by Ben Randall, an Australian activist and award-winning documentary filmmaker.

Since 2013, dozens of people from across the world have assisted with the project. Core team members have included John Bardos, Giang Thi Chan, Claire Harris, Jeppe Hildebrandt, Marinho, Barry O’Kane, Nick Randall, Simone, and Ben Warren.

We have received guidance and support from numerous anti-trafficking organisations, most notably Blue Dragon Children’s Foundation and Alliance Anti-Trafic.

How can I help?

Most of our team members have been chosen for their skills and experience in filmmaking, fundraising, promotion, translation (particularly Chinese, French, German, Hmong, Spanish), and web development.

If you have specific skills that you feel might benefit our work, please fill out the form on the volunteer page or email us at thehumanearthproject@gmail.com.

Several groups and individuals have also fundraised on our behalf, which makes a very real difference by giving us more time to focus on our core work.

Who funds THEP's work?

Our work has continued thanks to the contributions of individuals from around the world, and Ben’s own personal savings.

Visit our Donate page to see how you can make a difference, and to see the growing list of people who have made our work possible!

How can I contact you?

Can’t find the answer you’re looking for?

Please contact us with any questions, comments or media enquiries via our form on the Contact Us page.

Please note that the victims and survivors of human trafficking featured in ‘Sisters For Sale’ are not available for interviews.

Have more questions?

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