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Film Premiere puts Spotlight on Sex Trafficking in USA

January 11, 2007

Movie poster for Cargo: Innocence Lost

Cargo: Innocence Lost

Los Angeles — Human rights activists from Southern California will gather on Wednesday, January 17th to address the growing problem of human trafficking in Los Angeles and throughout the United States.

A new docudrama that exposes trafficking in the US will be premiered followed by a panel discussion.

The film, Cargo: Innocence Lost, by award-winning film director Michael Cory Davis, unveils the dark underworld of sex trafficking. Cargo provides an insight into this human tragedy through interviews with top officials on the subject, victims' advocates and some of the victims themselves.

The film is interwoven with raw, intense narrative based on numerous true stories.

The event, which will be held at the Garden Pavilion of the Church of Scientology Celebrity Centre International in Los Angeles, is co-organized by a number of Southern California groups, united in the fight against human trafficking — now a $9.5 billion a year criminal industry internationally. Human trafficking experts and law enforcement representatives dealing with this issue will lead the panel discussion and answer questions.

Mary Shuttleworth, President of LA-based International Foundation for Human Rights and Tolerance stated, "Human trafficking is only possible because people are uninformed about modern-day slavery and about their basic human rights. This is why we are promoting a series of public service announcements depicting all 30 articles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. In less than 30 minutes, any person can gain a working knowledge of their fundamental rights."

Released in June of last year, these emotion-packed PSAs have now aired to more than 130 million people in 60 countries. The fourth in the series, "No Slavery," is a heart-rending message that promotes that we cannot shut our eyes to the fact that slavery is still alive today.

Official estimates of the number of people trafficked into the United States each year range from 14,500 to 50,000. Eighty percent of the cases in California occur in Los Angeles, San Diego or San Francisco, according to a 2005 report from the Human Rights Center at UC Berkeley.

According to a United Nations 2005 news report, after drug dealing, human trafficking and arms dealing are the largest criminal industries in the world; however human trafficking is the fastest-growing of the three. Around the world an estimated 27 million people are slaves and every year 600,000 to 800,000 victims are trafficked across international borders, half of them children.

The event is being organized jointly by the International Foundation for Human Rights & Tolerance, the Los Angeles City Commission on the Status of Women Human Trafficking, the San Diego Bilateral Safety Corridor Coalition, Youth for Human Rights International, the Human Rights Department of the Church of Scientology International, Artists for Human Rights, the Orange County Human Trafficking Task Force, the Rescue and Restore Southern Region Coalition and the Salvation Army.

The film premiere starts at 7:00 pm sharp followed by the panel discussion at 8:20 pm. The Celebrity Centre Garden Pavilion is located at 5930 Franklin Avenue.

For further information contact:
Mary Shuttleworth, (323) 663-6915

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