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26 posts categorized "Sex-Trafficking"

June 01, 2010

Priceless Release Day and Press Release

It's finally here - the official release day for my new novel, Priceless! To celebrate, I wanted to make you a special offer: If you will walk into your local bookstore and purchase a copy of the book, I will send you a signed copy of any of my other books for free. All you have to do is send an email to hannah@hopechest.org that contains your address. You don't need to show any proof, we'll take your word for it. My hope is that after reading this book, you will be so moved by the plight of girls who are caught in human trafficking, you will rise up and do something that helps set them free. Thanks for supporting my books and for being such incredible advocates for those who have no voice. 

Here's a copy of the press release describing the content of Priceless.

Visionary Global Minister Tom Davis

Exposes Human Trafficking, Sex Trade in Priceless

8.4 million children are sex trafficking victims

2 children are trafficked every minute

Up to 300,000 prostituted children live on the streets in the U.S.

COLORADO SPRINGS—Child sex trafficking is not a topic that likely receives much discussion time at the water cooler or around the Sunday School table, but it’s happening all over the world—and in our backyard. Online news items are full of examples of sex trade, from the most recentCraig’s List controversy to sex tourism to other countries. Halfway around the world or right next door, the sex trade is big business and it affects more persons than you can imagine. In Priceless, the latest book in the EDGE OF THE WORLD series, visionary, author, consultant, speaker, and child adoption advocate Tom Davis tells the hard truth about child sex trafficking, one of the most harrowing and growing problems of our time, in a fictionalized account that will inform, shock, and motivate readers.

In the follow-up to Davis’ widely acclaimed book, Scared, American photojournalist Stuart Daniels goes from Africa to the heart of Russia. Stuart’s work has great meaning, as he educates people about social injustice around the word. His Russian trek gives him the opportunity to save the lives of two girls. But the mission becomes more than he bargained for when he soon becomes the key player in a plot to rescue countless girls helplessly trapped in Russia’s seedy and lucrative sex-slave industry. Davis is hands-on with this type of vital ministry in real life, and through the pages of Priceless, readers will walk along with main character Stuart and see just how real and deadly it is. Will Stuart have the courage, the strength, and the faith to do what he must for the sake of these girls? 

Priceless is a novel that is thoroughly compelling because it incorporates many of the first-hand experiences Davis has had via his ministry, Children’s HopeChest, a global effort that impacts people daily by caring for orphans. This story is dark, but Priceless also shows that the seeds of hope, faith, bravery, and love exist in the most deprived and sordid situations. Readers will garner compelling information from the excellent AfterWords section of the book, which includes questions, answers, and ways readers can get involved. Priceless is a book that will not allow you to remain unaffected or silent. Proceed cautiously; Priceless could change your life.

For more information visit www.sheispriceless.com.

Priceless by Tom Davis

David C. Cook

ISBN13: 978-1-5891-9103-7

June 2010

278 pages, $14.99

www.sheispriceless.com

Media Contact:

Jeane Wynn

Wynn-Wynn Media, LLC

P: 918-283-1834

F: 918-512-4409

jeane@wynnwynnmedia.com

May 28, 2010

Too Many Children in our World Suffer Appalling Abuse

Today, the UN outlawed abuses inflicted on children including prostitution, pornography, and the sale of children. I don't know why this took so long, but good for them. It's good to see world leadership stepping up and doing their part to protect kids from abusers. 

What if the church stepped up to do something radical? What if the church said, "If there are any children in the world in danger of being exploited sexually or trafficked, we will take them in. We'll find families. No questions asked."

That's the kind of Acts 2 love and sacrifice that would change the world. 

New York — The United Nations on Tuesday launched a major campaign for universal adoption of treaty protocols that outlaw the sale of children, child prostitution and pornography, and protect youngsters in armed conflict, with Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon calling for full ratification by 2012.

"The sad truth is that too many children in today's world suffer appalling abuse," he told a ceremony at the headquarters of the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) in New York, marking the tenth anniversary of the adoption of the two optional protocols strengthening the Convention on the Rights of the Child by providing a moral and legal shield for youngsters vulnerable to prostitution and pornography or caught up in armed conflict.

"Two-thirds of all member states have endorsed these instruments. On this tenth anniversary of their adoption, I urge all countries to ratify them within the next two years."

Mr. Ban cited recent advances: the release three months ago by the Maoist army in Nepal, under UN supervision, of more than 2,000 soldiers who had been recruited as children; the UN-assisted freeing of children from the ranks of armed groups In Côte d'Ivoire; the prosecution by the International Criminal Court (ICC) of former Congolese militia leader, Thomas Lubanga for war crimes against children.

He noted, too, that fewer and fewer states now permit children to join the armed forces and reiterated his previous calls to the Security Council to consider tough measures on those states and insurgent groups that still recruit children. From AllAfrica.com.


May 27, 2010

Priceless Is Available Online

I just discovered that my new book, Priceless, is now available online. Of course, I always prefer that you go to your local bookstore and purchase the book, but if you just can't wait, you can purchase it now at BarnesandNoble.comAmazon.com, and CBD.com. Wow, they arrived fast!

To date, writing this book has moved me more than any of my others. It's an extremely important issue all of us need to be involved in. I will make the same offer to book clubs on a first come, first served basis: if you would like me to participate in a Q&A, I will make myself available. Shoot me an email: tdavis@hopechest.org.

Please visit the book site by clicking here: SheIsPriceless.com. You can find all of the videos and articles we've done to date on the issue of human trafficking. There is also an ACT Page, where you can find out exactly what to do to help. 

Tell your friends, Post the trailer, or Offer a sneak peak of the first chapter. I really appreciate your help in getting the word out about the book and this issue. All of you are so amazing at being advocates for my books. I am truly thankful.

May 26, 2010

Russia, St. Basil's, A Video, and Priceless

Every day there is more news reports regarding human trafficking and sex trafficking. This is the exact subject of my next book. Priceless releases in 6 short days! To keep my commitment about having the book come to life for you, I'm releasing the 2nd video today to take you inside Stuart's world. This scene in Red Square is one of the most majestic places on earth. Feel free to post this on your blog to help promote the release. I hope you enjoy it.

Priceless - St Basil's & Red Square from Tom Davis on Vimeo.

May 25, 2010

An Ordinary Girl Rescues Two Women from Trafficking

I love this true story. All of us wonder what we can do to make a difference in some of the biggest human rights issues we face today. This woman just did it. She acted. What an inspiring story from Newsweek :

EXCLUSIVE: One Of The Heroes Behind the MetaFilter Human-Trafficking Rescue Speaks Out McKay Coppins

Late Wednesday night, Kathrine Gutierrez Hinds, 24, came across a frightening story—unfolding in real time on an online message board—about two young Russian women who, by the looks of it, were about to unwittingly become hostesses at a seedy nightclub. Now, less than 48 hours later, they are sleeping in her Chelsea apartment in Manhattan, and she is trying to keep them safe while helping them figure out their next move. In an exclusive interview with NEWSWEEK, she tells her story, which, unfortunately, isn’t over yet. 

Hinds logged onto MetaFilter—a community Weblog where users share links, give advice, and discuss the news—only a few hours after Daniel Reetz, a regular poster on the site, started a thread asking for help. Reetz had discovered that two of his female Russian friends—one 18 years old and the other 20—were stranded in D.C. in very suspicious circumstances. The women came to the United States through a company called Aloha Travel, which had promised them jobs in Washington, D.C. The employment mysteriously fell through and the girls received instructions to meet a potential employer at midnight in a shady New York nightclub where they would work as “hostesses.” Reetz suspected the worst. Thousands of miles away from the East Coast, he turned to MetaFilter for help.

Hinds told NEWSWEEK she first heard about the MetaFilter thread from a friend who, like her, regularly posts on the site. She immediately offered to help.

"I read it and contacted the person who posted it and essentially said, ‘I have an extra room in New York, so if they do come to New York we’ll make it easier on everyone and they can stay with me." She wasn't the only one. Dozens of posters offered help, advice, and the numbers for trafficking support groups, but without the consent of the women themselves, Reetz was having trouble getting help from established institutions.

Meanwhile, Reetz—who was on a road trip to California when he found out about his friends' situation—was frantically monitoring the message board on his phone, calling posters who had volunteered to help, and trying to dissuade the girls from going to New York. He failed on the last count, and on Thursday afternoon they boarded a bus in D.C. and started the four-hour trip to the Big Apple.

While en route to D.C., the girls received a call from a representative at their visa sponsoring agency whom Reetz had informed of the situation. The rep asked them not to go, but the girls insisted they were fine and, according to one of Reetz’s posts on MetaFilter, "apologized for the problems I am causing." Shortly thereafter, they stopped taking his phone calls. In the same frustrated post, Reetz wrote, "If you choose to meet them at the station, be prepared for them to want no help."

Realizing the girls were reacting adversely to the parental strong-arm tactics others had tried, Hinds decided to take a different approach. "They’re young women. They want to have fun and go to New York City, so I said, ‘I can do that,’" Hinds says. "I’ll just give them another option."

Hinds texted the girls, adopting a casual, friendly tone: "It’s Kathrine, come visit me. I don’t really care what you do, let’s just enjoy ourselves in New York." She offered to show them around the city and let them store their suitcases in her apartment. They agreed to meet her at the bus station.

"I was hoping I’d get the chance to talk to them and get them to reconsider before they went to meet him," Hinds says. "You can’t control someone—they’re adults, they can make their own decisions—but I was hoping I could keep them from doing it with their consent."

She informed Reetz that they had agreed to meet her, and he put her in touch with the NYPD. The officer she spoke to was "very nice, very comforting," she says. "He essentially just walked me through going to Port Authority and said police were supposed to call me and help me set something up."

Hinds waited for a call from the police, but as the girls’ arrival time neared, she still hadn’t heard anything. "I thought the police were going to be there so I could ask them for help, but nobody called me," she says. Without the security of police protection, Hinds decided to meet the girls at Port Authority regardless of the danger that might await her—many posters on the board were concerned about tangling with the Russian mob, which they suspected were involved.

"I didn’t see the police; there was no cell-phone service in the basement. I had no idea what to do," she recalled. "I was terrified." The girls finally arrived, and the three women started on their way home. She quickly realized, however, that they were being followed. "I noticed that there were two men following us, which, as you can imagine, was pretty nerve-racking," Hinds says. "I kept thinking, I hope they’re cops."

Indeed, they were. When the women got to the street, the men identified themselves as plainclothes NYPD and spent the next two hours questioning them. When the interviews ended, they went home to the one-bedroom apartment Hinds shares with her husband. They offered their new guests the bedroom and slept in the living room, but not before Hinds notified Reetz that his friends were OK. Reetz, of course, notified the MetaFilter message board, and Hinds checked in later.

"The police kept asking me, ‘What’s the next step?'" recalls Hinds. "I said, 'I have no idea how we’re going to feed them. I have no idea how any of this stuff is going to happen, but at least they’re OK.'"

Hinds is unemployed, and the apartment isn't meant for four. In a upbeat MetaFilter post about their sightseeing plans, she made an offhand comment about feeding two extra people. The response was overwhelming.

"Someone asked for my PayPal so I gave it to them," Hinds says, her voice breaking. "I’m going to cry about it—so people have been sending money. We’ve gotten $3,500 since last night. Multiple [posters] in New York who speak Russian have been coming to socialize and hang out with them."

The girls aren’t out of the woods yet, though. Hinds says Aloha Travel contacted them Friday and tried to persuade them to fly to San Diego. Worried that they would fall into a similar trap, Hinds persuaded them to stay and do some sightseeing with her.

"We’re going to the Empire State Building today," she says. "I told them not to worry about money for a while because they have some here."

Indeed, members of the MetaFilter community have been offering everything from translation services to hugs and beer, and have accompanied the women on sightseeing tours and social calls. Meanwhile, Hinds says that the State Department is investigating the situation, and the NYPD is following up as well.

But for now, the women are safe. Hinds, Reetz, and the other MetaFilter posters involved in their rescue are heroes, and people across the country are feeling a little bit better about humanity—and the Internet.

May 24, 2010

Absolutely Shocking - You Must Read This Article

As we go about our normal lives, the global problem of child prostitution has come to roost right in our cities. This is clearly the most disturbing piece I have read about what is happening in the United States. Dan Rather has just released a report that girls as young as 10 years old are trafficked in US cities. What's interesting is that he mentions that we all think this is only happening in places like Moldova and Thailand. Not true.

He also brings to light how pedofiles find these children. You guessed it, Craigslist. I wrote in This Post how important it was for us to speak out and act about what this company is doing to allow this. Here a direct quote for the article: 

"How many children are being peddled on the streets of Portland and in other cities and towns, to say nothing of the Internet (Justus and other law enforcement people say Craigslist, along with other Internet sites, are major factors in the spread of child prostitution)."

This should disturb you. I pray it disturbs you to action. Go to SheIsPriceless.com and join our fight to help prevent and rescue girls and children from these traffickers. 

The full article can be found here. The video of the report here.

Dan Rather - Child prostitution has become a national problem in this country. Yes, I know that you have trouble believing that. You don't want to believe it, so you tend not to.

"Widespread sex trafficking in children?", you may be saying to yourself. "Sure, it happens overseas in places like Thailand and Moldova, and while there may be some of it here there's not that much of it in our country."

Based on a months long investigation and some reportorial digging, I'm here to tell you that you are wrong. We all are. We're in denial.

In covering news for more than 60 years, I'd like to think that few stories shock me anymore. But this is one of them. We ran across it late last year and the more we dug, the more disturbing it became.

Eighty-year-old men paying a premium to violate teenage girls, sometimes supplied by former drug gangs now into child sex trafficking big time? You've got to be kidding. Nope. That's happening and a lot more along the same lines.

The business is booming. One of the worst areas for it runs along lines running roughly from Seattle to Portland, to San Francisco and Los Angeles, to Las Vegas. But no place in the country is immune.

To pick just one example among many, Portland, Oregon is without doubt one of the nation's treasures. It has been voted one of the best places to live and work. But according to police, the city and its outlying communities has become a hub for the sexual exploitation of children. In a recent nationwide sting by Federal, state and local law enforcement agencies, Portland ranked second in the country for the number of rescued child prostitutes. And according to Doug Justus, the workhorse sergeant in charge of Portland's tiny Vice Detail, many of the children caught up in this are middle class kids from the area.

May 17, 2010

The Exploitation of Children in our Culture

When this video came on, I was sick to my stomach. I'm not sure if it was watching the video that made me sick, or hearing the roaring crown in the background - perhaps both. Something has gone dreadfully wrong when we subject seven year old girls to what you're about to see. Yes, you heard right - seven years old. What does this say about the parents of these kids? 

Our culture is over sexed and will has no standards regarding what it will exploit. When this becomes entertainment, we have lost our innocence. These kids have certainly lost theirs. Every culture today claims, in theory, to place the highest value on its love for its children. What does this video say about that value? 

God help us. 

I found this on the Stop Child Trafficking Now Facebook page.

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Vezi mai multe video din Sport

May 12, 2010

IEmpathize Video from Mexico City

My buddy, Brad Riley of IEmpathize, is in Mexico City right now. If you remember, Brad was with me in Moldova and Russia during our last trip. He'll be involved with the Mexican equivalent of the FBI, doing some brother raids and rescuing girls who have been trafficked. Watch this video and pray for him as you think of it.

Mexico City Update 3 from Brad Riley on Vimeo.

American, Wake Up - Trafficking is in Your Backyard

Ohio's Dirty Little Secret. My friend, Larry Bergeron of A Child's Hope International, sent me an article about blatant sex trafficking that occurs throughout Ohio. I was completely shocked to find out that Ohio doesn't even have a state law to make trafficking a felony! So much of this is combatted at the governmental levels. No law equals no prosecutions which gives traffickers the freedom and boldness to continue their evils. This was the same issue in Moldova. When I asked the government officials how many sex traffickers they had prosecuted, the answer was zero.

Ohio, you better get on the phone and bombard your Senators and Representatives about this issue. They must make trafficking a felony. Senate Bill 235 is in committee right now. This is an outrage. We should all be deeply disturbed by this:


It's illegal, but some say state lawmakers aren't doing enough to stop it.

"You may think this is all about prostitution and sex.

Surprisingly, we found people, many times children, are not only being forced to become sex slaves, but also forced into slave labor.

And, it could be happening right in your own backyard.

Ohio is often referred to as the Midwest with cornfields and solid family values.

However, the Buckeye State's image of good old fashion values has been shattered by a new report from the Trafficking In Persons Study Commission.

"It's a $44 billion a year industry. It's the second largest in a criminal enterprise in the world and the fastest growing and we don't even have a state law making it a felony," explained Debbie Porter of End Slavery Cincinnati.

Porter spent a day in Columbus in April urging state lawmakers to pass a law that will make trafficking in persons a felony offense.

"He drugged me, which I didn't know, and raped me," said Theresa Flores of Columbus. That is how Flores says her nightmare began when she was 15-years-old living in a Detroit suburb.

She says a student from her school raped her and had his cousins take pictures of the crime.

Flores says she was then blackmailed over the next two years and forced to have sex with men, with the promise that she would get the pictures back. She says they also threatened to kill her family if she didn't cooperate.

"Being locked away for person after person after person to come in until they decided to take me home," said Flores.

Flores, who now runs a shelter for child sex victims outside Columbus, went public with her story to bring more attention to human trafficking.

Jessica Donohue-Dioh with End Slavery Cincinnati says as shocking as Theresa's story is...it is not an isolated case.

"Several of the cases that we've had come up in Cincinnati have been forced labor cases. In a couple of the cases, they were recruited from other countries and brought to the U.S. on the grounds that they were going to have a wonderful opportunity here to build their life and have employment," Donohue-Dioh explained.

Donohue-Dioh says with few laws in Ohio to punish human traffickers, many are setting up shop in the state.

"They were put into housing with sometime over 15 people in a house and being charged things like $100 or $150 a week in rent. Well, they weren't being given enough work to earn enough to pay even just the weekly rent. So, what ended up happening is that they ended up being in debt bondage," added Donohue-Dioh.

Senate Bill 235 would make human trafficking a felony in the State of Ohio.

However, State Senator, Bill Seitz, from the 8th District, says he wants to be careful that the legislation doesn't target the wrong people.

"We want to target this legislation at the people we're really concerned about. The head of the tapeworm, the pimps, the organized rings of pimps who are forcing young women into these degrading activities. We want to get them, but we don't want to cast the net so wide that now we have our jails full of those who are at the bottom of the chain, those who patronize these prostitutes."

End Slavery Cincinnati says if you suspect someone is a victim of human trafficking, you can make an anonymous call to a national hotline.

The number is 1(888)373-7888.

In the meantime, Senate Bill 235 is still in committee at the Ohio Statehouse.

Senator Seitz says he would like to see the legislation passed by the end of the year.

If you would like to learn more about former sex-slave Theresa Flores and her story, you can read her book "Slave Across The Street". Click here to view the original channel 9 article.  

May 11, 2010

An Adopted Woman Helps to Stop Sex Trafficking

I've become good friends with Nicole Wick over the past few years. She's part of the tight circle of folks I've become close to through blogging. What a world we live in! 

She was adopted from an orphanage in Saigon a week before Vietnam fell. You can read about her story by clicking here . Had she not been adopted, she could have been one of the many orphans left behind who were forced to enter the sex trade. When I went to Moldova, she was so moved by the stories of the girls we were telling. So she's doing something about it. Nicole is using her 35th anniversary of adoption to make a difference in other girls lives. 

This is more than a story about someone who has a heart for orphans an sex trafficking. It's a story about a normal woman doing great things to make a difference in the lives of needy, desperate girls rescued from trafficking. It's proof that any one of us can change the lives of others when we act. 

I'm asking everyone to go to Nicole's blogread her story, and join her.

Thanks all. You're the best online community ever! I mean that. Together, we raised over $150,000 last year for causes just like this!