USA's GRACELAND to Help Raise Awareness & Stop Human Trafficking with Special Episodes
usa network today announced the hit drama series Graceland and LAW & ORDER: SPECIAL VICTIMS UNIT teams are joining forces to help raise awareness of and stop human trafficking. The effort kicks off on Sunday, August 17, at 1pm ET, with a ten-hour "End Human Trafficking" marathon of LAW & ORDER: SVU, hosted by Graceland cast members Daniel Sunjata and Serinda Swan.
USA is partnering with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and Polaris -- a leader in the global fight to eradicate modern slavery -- to provide viewers with information about human trafficking and resources to help victims during the full day marathon. In addition, USA also will use social media platforms to encourage conversation and inspire greater action.
The ten-episode marathon is the first of two nights during the week that the network will shine a light on this modern-day slavery, impacting more than 20 million people worldwide. Children, women and men are coerced and Deceived into working in prostitution or forced labor against their will. The second night features a powerful episode of the series GRACELAND. This season, the show delved into a seven-episode story arc investigating a human trafficking operation, which comes to a head on Wednesday, August 20 at 10pm ET. The episode also will feature a new PSA from Sunjata and Swan encouraging viewers to donate to the UNODC's Trust Fund for victims of human trafficking.
Sunjata and Swan recently helped announce the first ever United Nations World Day against Human Trafficking in an exclusive social media video. During the July 30 event, the UNODC generated a massive social media initiative using #IGiveHope. Other USA stars who took part in the initiative included Piper Perabo (COVERT AFFAIRS), Sarah Rafferty (SUITS), Kari Matchett (COVERT AFFAIRS) and Erik Valdez (GRACELAND).
Created by Emmy Award-winning producer Dick Wolf, LAW & ORDER: SPECIAL VICTIMS UNIT, now in its fifteenth season, is the longest-running Primetime drama currently on television. This hard-hitting and emotional series from NBC's "Law & Order" brand chronicles the life and crimes of the Special Victims Unit of the New York City Police Department, an elite squad of detectives who investigate sexually based crimes. The series stars Mariska Hargitay, Ice-T, Danny Pino, Kelli Giddish and Raul Esparza. "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" is a Wolf Films production in association with Universal Television. Dick Wolf is creator and executive producer; Warren Leight, Julie Martin and Peter Jankowski are executive producers.
About USA Network
The #1 network in all of basic cable for an unprecedented eight straight years, usa network is seen in over 102 million U.S. homes. USA is a leader in scripted programming with a powerful stable of originals, spectacular live television and is home to the best in blockbuster theatrical films, a broad portfolio of acquired series and entertainment events. A trailblazer in digital innovation and storytelling, USA is defining, driving and setting the industry standard for Social TV. USA is a program service of NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment, a division of NBCUniversal. The award-winning website is located at http://www.usanetwork.com.
About United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime
"The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) is a global leader in the fight against illicit drugs and international crime, operating in all regions of the world through an extensive network of field offices. In 2010, the UN General Assembly established the United Nations Voluntary Trust Fund for Victims of Trafficking in Persons. The Trust Fund, managed by UNODC, supports grassroots non-governmental organizations that directly assist victims and survivors of human trafficking in countries around the world ".
Polaris is a leader in the global fight to eradicate modern slavery Named after the North Star that guided slaves to freedom in the U.S., Polaris acts as a catalyst to systemically disrupt the human trafficking networks that rob human beings of their lives and their freedom. By working with government leaders, the world's leading technology corporations, and local partners, Polaris equips communities to identify, report, and prevent human trafficking. Our comprehensive model puts victims at the center of what we do -- helping survivors restore their freedom, preventing more victims, and leveraging data and technology to pursue traffickers wherever they operate. Learn more at www.polarisproject.org.
1:00 PM ACCEPTABLE LOSS - With Captain Cragen back in the precinct, the SVU squad is in full force and working to expose a sex trafficking operation that enslaves young women. The detectives are on the verge of cracking the case when their efforts are halted by Lieutenant Alexandra Eames, forcing Detective Benson to get creative with the investigation.
2:00 PM SLAVES - After a shopkeeper brings a note for help to the squad, the detectives begin trying to locate a young Romanian woman named Ilena (Layla Alexander), who hasn't been seen in months. The squad eventually finds her working as a nanny at the home of the Morrows (Andrew McCarthy and Susan Floyd), a successful yuppie couple who harbor a terrible secret.
3:00 PM ANGELS - The body of a battered young boy found in a luggage compartment of an airport shuttle bus sends the detectives to his guardian who was discovered to be a pedophile only to find his corpse in bed with his genitals removed. The subsequent investigation leads them to a travel agency specializing in exotic trips for sexual predators.
4:00 PM PANDORA - Stabler, with the help of a homicide detective (William McNamara), hunts for a missing fourteen-year-old girl (Alexis Dziena) who may have been abducted by a foreign child pornographer. The Hunt takes him across the Atlantic to where Interpol is investigating the sex trade in Europe.
5:00 PM PARTS - After a woman's head is found in a car junkyard, SVU detectives track it down to the black market. This journey exposes them to the tragic lives of people who die waiting for kidney transplants. Through the organ dealer, Stabler and Munch learn that the parents of a dying boy broke the law to get him on the fast track to receiving a kidney.
6:00 PM DEBT - A child abandonment incident prompts Benson and Stabler to investigate the disappearance of a mother. They learn from her sister that she made a deal with human traffickers to have her teenage daughter smuggled to New York from China. It is revealed that the teenage immigrant has been forced into prostitution and that her life is being used as a bargaining chip by the gangsters to avoid prosecution.
7:00 PM RITUAL - A young boy is killed in a ritualistic manner which Fin identifies as that of Santeria and the detectives question the leader of a local chapter. Their attention turns elsewhere, however when they learn that the victim was one of many slave children smuggled form Nigeria.
8:00 PM UNDERBELLY - After a third young teen found dead, a paw print tattoo on her lower back, Stabler and Beck investigate the tattoo, which leads them to Broder House, a foster home for young girls. They learn that Chantal was one of a number of girls who had ended up working the streets for a man named Victor.
9:00 PM HOTHOUSE - Stabler and Benson investigate the murder of a 14-year-old girl found in the river. There are signs of torture on the young body and Warner tells them that she doesn't know her identity, but can tell them she's been in the United States less than four months and before that was in the Ukraine. Both Stabler and Benson realize the victim was probably part of a sex trafficking ring.
10:00 PM MERCHANDISE - Detectives Benson and Stabler investigate the death of a teenaged girl involved in a hit-and-run accident after Dr. Warner rules her death was a homicide, based on signs of malnutrition and a recent delivery. When the evidence leads them to a human trafficking operation, however, they contact an old colleague whose promotion has given her some influence.
Photo by: Jeff Daly/USA Network