Jimmy Jean-Louis Kicks Off Anti Human Trafficking Campaign
There was an interesting post on Corbett's List today which described how Jimmy Jean-Louis, who plays "The Haitian" on NBC's Heroes, is kicking off a campaign to fight human trafficking in Haiti. The campaign intends to raise awareness concerning the 200,000 children in Haiti who are the victims of modern-day slavery, trafficking and exploitation. You can visit the website here.
Jean-Louis is the Goodwill Ambassador for Children for the Pan American Development Foundation. He notes, "The exploitation of children is a stain on human dignity." I might also add that it is also a stain on Haitian history, the only country to have successfully led a slave rebellion yet now one of the easiest places in the world to exploit and abuse children.
The campaign is called, "I Too Am Haiti." As part of the campaign, Jean-Louis will visit numerous cities during the next six months and will speak to Congress in late April to press for more economic and human rights assistance for Haiti.
Jean-Louis was born in Petion-Ville, Haiti. His mother managed to move to France, and when Jimmy he was 12, her joined her there. He studied theater and found some work in Paris as an actor. He eventually made it to the United States and obtained roles in popular television programs and movies. In addition to "Heroes", he has also acted in other programs, including “The Shield,” and had roles in a variety of Hollywood films, such as “Monster in Law,” “A Diary of a Tired Black Man.” He divides his professional time between Los Angeles and Europe.
In addition, Jean-Louis founded Hollywood United for Haiti (HUFH) in 2008. HUFH is a non profit organization whose mission is to promote sports and cultural activities for underprivileged youth of Haiti. As a lifelong athlete and semi-professional soccer player, Jimmy saw sports as a means of helping poor Haitian children rise above their circumstances, learn about health and team play, and become role models for their communities. He arranged for donations from his Hollywood soccer club (including money and equipment) to be sent to Haiti and distributed by local clubs for use in poor neighborhoods. In subsequent trips to Haiti, Jimmy brought various celebrities and elected officials with him to tour the country and see both its beauty and tremendous challenges.
Protecting human rights means being able to protect children from abuse and exploitation. In the absence of governmental leadership on this important issue, it is good to know that there are organizations like PADF and concerned individuals like Jimmy Jean-Louis who are willing to partner to protect the most vulnerable of Haiti's citizens.