“No girl wakes up and looks in the mirror and says I want to be a prostitute.” Linda Smith is a saint and with relentless determination, professionalism and poise she has dedicated her life to the issue of sex trafficking. She literally saves lives and seeks justice for those who can’t defend themselves through policy change, awareness and activism. To alter the course of human rights, we must change our perception, language, laws and response in an effort to stop this criminal offense.
Linda Smith is a leader in the global movement to end sex trafficking. In 1998, while serving in Congress, Linda traveled to a notorious brothel district in India where the hopeless faces of women and children forced into prostitution compelled her to found the Shared Hope International organization. Linda is the primary author of From Congress to the Brothel and Renting Lacy, co-author of The National Report on Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking, and instrumental in creating the DEMAND Report. Linda has testified before Congress, presented at national and international forums, and has been published in numerous news outlets and journals. Linda served as a Washington State legislator (1983-93) before being elected to Congress in 1994.
This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at