Georgia Bulletin

The Newspaper of the Catholic Archdiocese of Atlanta


St. Thomas More Hosts Event On Child Trafficking

Published August 23, 2007

A documentary that investigates the hidden world of child sex trafficking in the United States will be shown in an event open to the public at St. Thomas More Church and School on Thursday, Sept. 13, at 7 p.m.

The documentary, “Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking: How To Identify America’s Trafficked Youth,” was prepared by Shared Hope International, a Washington, D.C., faith-based, non-governmental organization that is a leader in the worldwide effort to prevent and eradicate sex trafficking.

The film, based on undercover research and on-camera interviews with pimps, sex trafficking survivors, members of law enforcement and social service providers, provides an in-depth look at the buying and selling of America’s children. Atlanta leaders at the forefront of the anti-trafficking movement will speak at the event, including Stephanie Davis of the Atlanta Mayor’s Office, Myesha Braden of the U.S. Department of Justice, and Maxine Shoulders-Brandon, executive director of Covenant House Georgia.

Shared Hope International has been involved in the fight against sex trafficking in the greater Atlanta area for over two years, discovering Atlanta girls as young as 15 being sold by pimps in hotel rooms and over the Internet. The positive response to the revelation of this human rights crisis in Atlanta has been significant, with proactive work being initiated by the local community.

“The best data suggests that at least 100,000 American kids a year are victimized through the practice of child prostitution,” said Ernie Allen, president and CEO of The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. “These kids literally become 21st century slaves.”

This event brings together a cross-section of people involved in efforts to protect children and will celebrate local efforts to combat domestic minor sex trafficking in Atlanta and hope to inspire even stronger community action. The coordinator is Amanda Kloer, a program and research associate at Shared Hope, and the daughter of St. Thomas More faculty member Heather Kloer.

St. Thomas More is located at 630 West Ponce de Leon Ave., Decatur. The event is free and the public is invited.