As you may know, January is the month where we focus on International Human Trafficking Awareness, and January 11th is selected for International Human Trafficking Awareness Day. Senator Cris Dush works with many international and state renown organizations that have been fighting Human Trafficking for years. His recently enacted legislation, Pennsylvania Act 39, depicts his desire to improve victim support and provide the legislation necessary for law enforcement and social services to better assist those who have been trafficked. Furthermore, Senator Dush’s background in law enforcement has allowed him to effectively fight those who are responsible for trafficking innocent children throughout the years. Act 39, signed into law by Governor Shapiro in December 2023, allows victims to now receive social services without having to identify (for whatever reason) their traffickers, protecting victims and helping them to receive assistance and move away from this deadly environment.
In recognition of this important month, Senator Dush will be presenting short synopses of interviews he recently completed with not only victims of Human Trafficking, but also benchmark organizations that are currently fighting Human Trafficking in Pennsylvania and around the world.
Below is his schedule of interviews for January 2024:
Today, Senator Dush will be interviewing …
Founder and President / Prior Congresswoman
Shared Hope International
Linda Smith is a leader in the global movement to end sex trafficking. In 1998, while serving in the U.S. Congress, Linda traveled to a notorious brothel district in India where the hopeless faces of women and children forced into prostitution compelled Linda to found Shared Hope International. Linda is the primary author of From Congress to the Brothel and Renting Lacy and co-author of The National Report on Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking and the DEMAND. Report. Linda has testified before Congress, presented at national and international forums, and has been published in news outlets and journals. Linda served as a Washington State legislator (1983-93), before she was elected to the U.S. Congress in 1994. Her full biography can be found at: https://sharedhope.org/about-us/leadership/
Shared Hope is a non-profit organization created by (then) Washington State Congresswoman Linda Smith. In 1998, she traveled to the heart of the brothel district in Mumbai (Bombay), India. The brutal sexual slavery and exploitation of women and children she witnessed there inspired her to establish Shared Hope International.
“Shared Hope International strives to prevent the conditions that foster sex trafficking, restore victims of sex slavery, and bring justice to vulnerable women and children. We envision a world passionately opposed to sex trafficking and a community committed to restoring survivors to lives of purpose, value and choice – one life at a time.”
For more information, the complete interviews can be viewed here.