REDLIGHT, a powerful new feature documentary exposing the global issue of human trafficking, will have its world premiere in New York City tonight at an event hosted by Priority Films and LexisNexis. Narrated by UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Lucy Liu, REDLIGHT tells the real life stories of child victims of human trafficking and two remarkable women who fight to save them. Produced by filmmaker and RedLight Children Founder Guy Jacobson over a four-year period, REDLIGHT uses footage smuggled out of brothels in Cambodia and testimonials from the young victims and their relatives.

Human trafficking, the illegal trade in human beings for the purposes of commercial sexual exploitation or forced labor, is one of the fastest growing criminal industries in the world today. It is now tied with the illegal arms industry as the second largest international criminal enterprise, after the illegal drug trade. According to the U.S. Department of State’s 2010 Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report released last week, approximately 1 out of every 555 people in the world is a victim of human trafficking.

Survey Shows Low Awareness Among American Public

Despite the large and growing prevalence of the problem, a new survey commissioned by LexisNexis in collaboration with Polaris Project reveals that most Americans are not aware of the nature or extent of human trafficking. In fact, when asked to identify the best definition of the term “human trafficking,” nearly half of Americans could not do so (48%). Most respondents – nearly nine out of ten (88%) – were unaware that more than 10 million people are living in sexual slavery or some form of forced labor in the world today, while just one in five (22%) knew that human trafficking generates $30 billion or more in profit each year.

“Human trafficking isn’t something that only happens to a few people in far-away countries, it’s happening right here in America, in New York City, in our backyards,” said Robert Rigby Hall, Chief Human Resources Officer at LexisNexis and RedLight Children Board Member. “Tonight’s event is about shining a spotlight on this heinous crime so that people realize how widespread the problem of human trafficking is. We encourage individuals and businesses to see the REDLIGHT documentary, and to join us in the fight against this form of modern-day slavery.”

REDLIGHT gives the young victims a voice to tell their personal stories and profiles the tireless efforts of two women activists to rescue and safeguard them: Somaly Mam, a former trafficking victim who has dedicated her life to saving victims and empowering survivors; and Mu Sochua, Member of Parliament and former Minister of Women’s Affairs in Cambodia. Both women have been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize for their extraordinary efforts in fighting for the rights of children who have been trafficked into prostitution.

The REDLIGHT documentary will premiere at the SVA Theater in New York City tonight. The event will include a Q&A session featuring Mu Sochua, filmmakers Guy Jacobson and Adi Ezroni, who both received the prestigious U.S. State Department’s Global Hero Award for their work, and Dr. Susan Bissell, UNICEF’s Global Chief of Child Protection.

Among the host committee members for the premiere are: Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney (D); Andy Prozes, Chief Executive Officer, LexisNexis Group; Mark Lagon, former U.S. Ambassador-at-Large to Combat Trafficking in Persons and Senior Advisor to LexisNexis; Cecilia Attias, President and Founder, the Cecilia Attias Foundation for Women; Lauren Bush, fashion model, designer and humanitarian; Julia Ormond, actress and former U.N. Goodwill Ambassador on Trafficking in Persons; and Ambassador Swanee Hunt, President of the Hunt Alternatives Fund and former U.S. Ambassador to Austria; and actors Marcia Gay Harden, Ron Livingston and Ashley Judd.

REDLIGHT shows the human dimension: greedy traffickers trying to rob fellow human beings of their basic dignity, and two exemplary women making a huge difference to re-empower those victims,” said Mark Lagon, former U.S. Government point person coordinating global and domestic efforts to fight trafficking. “Human trafficking is all about the Rule of Law. The global TIP Report issued by the State Department documents the correlation of poor civil liberties and corruption to this slavery of our time.”

Human Trafficking and the Rule of Law

LexisNexis is committed to help combat human trafficking as part of its efforts to advance the Rule of Law – the basic concept that a functioning society requires a strong legal system and set of laws respected by everyone, including the government. Together with public and private partners, LexisNexis supports various anti-human trafficking efforts through promoting awareness, sponsoring victims support and assisting with training and education initiatives.

“In this modern world, millions continue to be trapped in slavery, which is a horrific signal that Rule of Law is absent,” said Andy Prozes, Chief Executive Officer, LexisNexis. “We are working to establish Rule of Law in places where human beings are seen as commodities. In our relationships with individuals, businesses, governments and NGOs we work to utilize our expertise and assets to make a difference and employ the principles of Rule of Law to eradicate human trafficking.”

About the LexisNexis Survey Results:

The survey was conducted by Taylor Nelson Sofres (TNS) Global among a nationally representative sample of 2,500 Americans age 18+. The study was conducted online in May 2010 and has a margin of error of 1.96 percentage points at the 95% confidence level. For more information, please download the executive summary at www.lexisnexis.com/redlight/lexisnexis-human-trafficking-survey.pdf (24 KB).

For more information on REDLIGHT and LexisNexis efforts to combat human trafficking, please visit: www.lexisnexis.com/redlight/index.html.

About LexisNexis:

LexisNexis ® ( www.lexisnexis.com) is a leading global provider of content-enabled workflow solutions designed specifically for professionals in the legal, risk management, corporate, government, law enforcement, accounting and academic markets. LexisNexis originally pioneered online information with its Lexis ® and Nexis ® services. A member of Reed Elsevier [NYSE: ENL; NYSE: RUK] ( www.reedelsevier.com), LexisNexis serves customers in more than 100 countries with 15,000 employees worldwide.

About RedLight Children:

RedLight Children (RLC) is a grassroots, 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization seeking to generate conscious concern and inspire immediate action against child sexploitation and trafficking worldwide. The campaign attacks the demand of child sexploitation, focusing on legislation, enforcement, and the rule of law. RLC’s inclusive blueprint charts three phases of attack on this crime against humanity: 1) Raising awareness through feature films, documentaries and education campaigns; 2) Correcting, improving, and enforcing current legislation; 3) Allocating the appropriate resources to mirror the size and scope of the epidemic.

Copyright Business Wire 2010

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