$100,000 matching gift supports TraffickCam app to fight human sex trafficking

ST. LOUIS, MO – The Congregation of the Sisters of Saint Joseph, a community of Catholic women religious and associates, has donated a $100,000 matching gift to support the ongoing development of TraffickCam, the free anti-trafficking smartphone app that has taken social media, the traveling public and the tech world by storm. Donations will support the ongoing development of the TraffickCam mobile app and law enforcement database.

The Congregation of the Sisters of St. Joseph will double every dollar donated up to $100,000, with the ultimate goal of raising $200,000. Tax deductible donations can be made at ExchangeInitiative.com, the social action organization that developed the app. Follow TraffickCam at Facebook.com/TraffickCam and twitter.com/TraffickCam; follow Exchange Initiative at Facebook.com/ExchangeInitiative and twitter.com/TheEXInitiative.

TraffickCam empowers travelers to help in the fight against sex trafficking by taking photos of their hotel rooms and anonymously uploading them to a national database, which will be used by law enforcement and investigators to locate victims and their pimps.

In a week and a half, the TraffickCam app has logged nearly 70,000 downloads on the App Store (bit.ly/TraffickCamApp) and Google Play (bit.ly/TraffickCamAndroid). Thousands of media outlets, online publications and TV stations have written about the unique TraffickCam app, developed by the social action organization Exchange Initiative and researchers at Washington University.

The story has generated more than 27 million Twitter impressions and has been shared countless times on Facebook. As a result, more than 1,500 hotel room photos are being added each day to a database of more than 1.56 million photos, including photos from hundreds of hotels not previously represented.

Sex trafficking is a form of modern day slavery that forces children and adults to engage in commercial sex acts against their will. The average age that victims enter the sex trade is 12 to 14 years old , coerced through drugs, violence, debt bondage and intimidation. According to UNICEF, at least 300,000 American children and 1.2 million children worldwide are trafficked each year .

Exchange Initiative is a social action organization founded by Nix Conference & Meeting Management, which leads the charge among meeting planners worldwide to help end sex trafficking in hotels. Nix addresses the trafficking issue with the management of every hotel where they do business and presented the national conference “IGNITE: Sparking Action Against Sex Trafficking” in 2014. Nix initiated and signed the first-ever Meeting Planners Code of Conduct with ECPAT-USA in January, 2012.

Nix Conference & Meeting Management was honored this week by ECPAT-USA as a Top Member of The Code, for the second year in a row. ECPAT-USA named just 19 companies in the U.S. as Top Members “for their exceptional work to integrate child protection practices into their businesses in 2015.”

Exchange Initiative provides resources, information and networking solutions to combat sex trafficking in the U.S. Download the app on the App Store (iOS) and Google Play (Android) or use the desktop app at www.TraffickCam.com. For more information, visit TraffickCam.com, Facebook.com/TraffickCam, twitter.com/TraffickCam, ExchangeInitiative.com, facebook.com/exchangeinitiative and twitter.com/TheEXInitiative or call Molly Hackett at (314) 645-1455.

The Congregation of the Sisters of St. Joseph is a community of nearly 500 vowed women religious dedicated to the love of God and neighbor, committed to sharing life together in community, and missioned to be a unifying presence wherever we live and minister. For more information, visit www.csjoseph.org.

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Media Contact
Mary Schanuel