Over 100 participants packed the auditorium at the Corboy Law Center of Loyola University in Chicago on September 3, 2014, for a seminar on the “Human Trafficking of Women and Girls - Global Strategies”. PPSEAWA partnered with the Center for the Human Rights of Children (CHRC) at Loyola University in Chicago and the International Women’s Associates, Inc. (IWA) to present this seminar. We listened to speakers from Malaysia, Taiwan, and the United States discuss the efforts to help survivors, as well as strategies and promising legal efforts to deter the trafficking of women and girls.
The UN’s International Labour Organization (ILO) estimates that:
- Women and girls comprise 55% of all those in forced labor and 98% of all those in sex trafficking.
- 1 in 4 are children under 18 years of age.
Human trafficking is also known as trafficking in persons (TIP). The TIP Report is the U.S. Government’s principal diplomatic tool to engage foreign governments on human trafficking. The Department of State’s Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons leads our global engagement against human trafficking.
We began with a warm welcome address from Teresa Hinztke, PPSEAWA International President, who was the primary architect of this seminar. She introduced the keynote speaker, Anita Alvarez, Cook County State’s Attorney. Ms. Alvarez leads the second largest prosecutor’s office in the United States. She told us that 16,000 local women and girls are prostituted every day in Chicago! So she created a first-of-its-kind Human Trafficking Initiative to crack down on individuals and human trafficking groups that exploit children. She also authored the Illinois Safe Children Act, which decriminalized juvenile prostitution and allocated money for much needed, victim-centered social services.
Seminar Part One - Awareness
- Presented case studies of victims trafficked for commercial sex and for forced labor
- Discussed best practices for rehabilitation and recovery of trafficked victims
- Discussed ways each organization raises public awareness of the trafficking problem in their respective countries.
Part One was moderated by Eleanor Schlesinger, PPSEAWA International Council Director and PPSEAWA’s UN Representative. Panelists included:
- Dr. Dato Raj Abdul Karim, PPSEAWA Council Director (Malaysia)
- Shuang-Shuang Keng, Taipei Women’s Rescue Foundation (TWRF) International Affairs Specialist, and Jasmine Bai, TWRF Director of the Anti-Trafficking Department
- Katherine Kaufka Walts, JD, Director for the Center for Human Rights of Children at Loyola University Chicago (CHRC)
Seminar Part Two - Strategies
If we look at trafficking as a business model, making an estimated $32 billion a year, we need to drive traffickers, brokers and suppliers out of business.
- Have more legal & financial measures against the perpetrators – traffickers, suppliers, and purchasers.
- Curb demand for commercial sex through shaming buyers by imposing heavy fines & imprisonment.
Part Two was moderated by Susan Oppenheimer from the International Women Associates, Inc. (IWA). Panelists included:
- Marisa E. Ferri, Deputy Coordinator for International Programs Office to Monitor & Combat Trafficking in Persons, U.S. Department of State
- Laurel Bellows, Immediate Past President of the American Bar Association.