Please join Dr. Joel C. Hunter, Senior Pastor of Northland, A Church Distributed; Ms. Linda Smith, Founder and President of Shared Hope International; and fellow leaders in the anti-human trafficking field both locally and nationally as we prayerfully join together for the ending of human trafficking in our communities and around the world. We are honored to have Linda Smith as our keynote speaker.
a member of the U.S. Congress, Linda traveled to Falkland Road in Mumbai, India—one of the worst brothel
districts in the world. The hopeless faces of desperate women and children enslaved in prostitution compelled
Linda to found Shared Hope International. Shared Hope provides leadership in education and training, prevention strategies, research,
and policy initiatives and supports care, shelter, education, and vocational training through the Women’s Investment Network (WIN)
at Homes and Villages of Hope.
Linda founded the War Against Trafficking Alliance (WATA) in 2001, coordinating regional and international efforts to combat sex
trafficking. In 2003, WATA co-sponsored the World Summit with the U.S. Department of State, uniting leaders from 114 nations that
demonstrated sustained commitment to protect the vulnerable from the sex trade. Six international summits followed, leading
governments in under-achieving nations to pass human trafficking laws and plan for enforcement. In 2006, Shared Hope spearheaded
the U.S. Mid-Term Review on the Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children (CSEC)—bringing together U.S. leaders to assess
progress made in combating the sexual slavery of children in America. The report was submitted to the World Congress Against
Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children.
Under a grant from the U.S. Department of State, Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons, Linda and her team
conducted field research in Jamaica, the Netherlands, Japan, and the U.S. to investigate the business model fueling the sex industry.
These findings were compiled in the 2007 publication of the DEMAND. report and the production of the DEMAND. documentary.
This research inspired further investigation into U.S. trafficking markets.
With funding from the U.S. Department of Justice, SHARED HOPE conducted four years of research on domestic minor sex
trafficking (DMST). In 2009, Linda presented the findings of The National Report on Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking: America’s
Prostituted Children to Congress. By examining the governmental and nongovernmental efforts and gaps in addressing child sex
trafficking in the U.S., this research pioneered today’s movement against child sex slavery in America.”