WASHINGTON (February 28, 2003) --
Where: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
3211 4th St. NE
Washington, DC 20017-1194
When: Wednesday, March 5, 9:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.
Sponsor: U.S. Bishops' Office for Migration and Refugee Services
Sister Mary Ellen Dougherty, SSND
Speakers: Amy O'Neill Richard, U.S. State Department
Sue Shriner, Immigration and Naturalization Service
AnnaMarie Bena, Office of Refugee Resettlement,
Media Registration: Media seeking interviews or to cover the event may call Marie Quinlan (202) 541-3347
Background: According to a 2000 CIA report, 50,000 women and children are trafficked into the United States each year for purposes of sexual exploitation and forced labor. They come primarily from Latin America, Asia, and Eastern Europe. Despite a U.S. law passed in 2000, to protect victims and prosecute traffickers, the number of certified victims and indicted traffickers is proportionately low. Most victims are initially identified by individual community members, church organizations, neighborhood watches, and similar unofficial sources, so it is essential that the public understand the issue.