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Shared Hope International Kicks Off National Campaign to Raise Awareness of Child Sex Trafficking of American Kids in the United States

by Staff
June 5, 2009
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LAS VEGAS, (christiansunite.com) -- On June 12, Shared Hope International will launch its End Demand: Kids Are Not for Sale National awareness campaign with a rally and candlelight vigil in Las Vegas. The campaign kick- off coincides with the release of Shared Hope's National Report featuring the latest disturbing findings on prostituted children in the United States.

For more than a decade, Shared Hope International has aggressively worked to prevent and eradicate sex trafficking through education and public awareness. The End Demand: Kids Are Not for Sale awareness campaign and Shared Hope International have a vision to inform the public on sex trafficking with an emphasis on the prevalence in the United States.

In a recent statement, Shared Hope International Founder and President Linda Smith comments, "Nearly a decade ago, India and Nepal were my introduction into human trafficking and the sex trade. I would soon find this horror stretches around the world. After five years of work in the field, I came into a new, perhaps even more awful truth: our investigative research showed this nightmare was happening in my own back yard with thousands of children sold each year. I knew I had to find a way to show America, as a result the End Demand: Kids Are Not for Sale awareness campaign was birthed."

Every year, more than 100,000 under aged girls are forced or lured into the world of prostitution. Las Vegas is one city where domestic minor sex trafficking (DMST) is occurring in large numbers and children are trafficked to the city from all over the United States. In May 2007, one homeless youth shelter and rehabilitation center in Las Vegas identified 400 trafficked juveniles through their outreach program. Many domestic minor sex trafficking victims are children who have run away from home, have been abducted and forced into prostitution. Although Las Vegas is the kick-off location for the End Demand: Kids Are Not for Sale Campaign, several cities across the United States will join Las Vegas via satellite media to amplify the issue of children victimized through prostitution to a national level.

Hosted by Linda Smith (U.S. Congress 1994-98), the rally will open with key findings and never before seen undercover footage from Shared Hope International's four-year research. The National Report on Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking: America's Prostituted Children will also be released. A march of demonstrators against sex trafficking will follow and end with a candlelight vigil in honor of victims and survivors of domestic minor sex trafficking.

What:
End Demand: Kids Are Not for Sale National Awareness Campaign (Rally, March and Candlelight Vigil)

Where:
Trinity Life Center Impact Center, 950 E. Sahara, Las Vegas, NV

When:
Friday, June 12, 2009
6:00pm - 9:00pm

Who:
Shared Hope International and Canyon Ridge Church

Why:
To increase awareness of domestic minor sex trafficking, help victims, and expose the activity of traffickers and buyers in the United States.

To request an embargoed copy of the national report or to inquire about undercover footage, please contact Monique Johnson.

About Shared Hope International:
Shared Hope International exists to prevent, rescue and restore women and children in crisis. For more than a decade, Shared Hope International has worked around the world in partnership with local groups to prevent trafficking and to rescue and restore the victims of sexual slavery. Shared Hope International DEMAND. project was a 12-month investigation which focused on commercial sexual exploitation in Jamaica, Japan, the Netherland and the United States. The report concludes that "although each country is different culturally, socially, economically and historically, each destination shares a culture of tolerance allowing major markets for local and international sex tourism and trafficking to flourish." In 2007 and 2008, with funding from the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), Shared Hope International conducted field assessments in 10 U.S. locations to identify and facilitate services to American child sex trafficking victims. The assessments are serving as a springboard for action in each local community. Visit www.sharedhope.org.

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