Child soldiers in Africa. Forced labor in India. Teenage girls coerced into the sex trade.
They are all facets of human trafficking, and members of Bethel Church hope Tri-Citians will gain a deeper understanding of the real consequences for victims after they walk through the "Sold: The Human Trafficking Experience" exhibit opening at the church Friday.
"Human trafficking is a pervasive evil that is largely unknown and misunderstood," said Amber Bruce, one of three women who organized the exhibit. "Shedding light on this issue is the first step in combating it. When we are aware, we can make a difference."
The multisensory exhibit combines technology and true stories to educate visitors about the effects of human trafficking both locally and globally through the lives of victims in nine parts of the world.
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It addresses many forms of human trafficking, which is in effect, modern-day slavery in which people -- including children -- are sold into forced labor, prostitution, debt bondage or forced marriages through fraud or coercion.
Human trafficking has been a crime in Washington since 2003, and the Legislature gradually has added more teeth to the state's anti- trafficking laws.
The exhibit uses MP3 players and smartphones to help tell victims' stories, and visitors are encouraged to imagine themselves in victims' shoes.
Visitors finish in a recovery room where on Friday and Saturday they will have the chance to talk one-on-one with human trafficking victim Khurshida Begum, who lived in slavery south of Olympia.
Begum visited the Tri-Cities in October and told the story about how she and eight of her family members were bought by a man who visited her impoverished village in Bangladesh when she was 3 and convinced her father that he would be selling her into a better life in the United States.
Begum and her siblings were tortured, beaten, raped and forced to work on an isolated farm day and night, until the suicide of a cousin brought the attention of local officials, and they were set free.
Betty Adams, a Bethel Church member who is helping with the exhibit, said visitors will get something by talking to Begum one-on-one that they might not get hearing her in front of a crowd.
"She's pretty big on the whole forgiveness piece," Adams said. "That's kind of neat because she feels like there is an opportunity to share what the process is for a survivor."
The exhibit is free and runs through May 20.