University of Dayton to Convene International Conference to Expose and Combat Human Trafficking

University of Dayton to Convene International Conference to Expose and Combat Human Trafficking

Human trafficking is a modern-day form of slavery that violates human rights globally — and in the heartland of America.

That stark message will be delivered at the Dayton Human Trafficking Accords
international conference Nov. 9-10 at the University of Dayton.

Held in collaboration with the Anti-Trafficking Program of the United States
Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Migration and Refugee Services, the forum will
bring together law enforcement officials, victims’ advocates, academic
experts, students and the public “for the purpose of stirring society’s
conscience to action against trafficking and slavery,” said Mark Ensalaco,
director of the University of Dayton’s human rights program. The media
co-sponsor is WYSO Radio.

Participants will sign the Dayton Human Trafficking Accords as an expression
of a common commitment to end human trafficking, punish offenders and promote
new laws against the dehumanizing practice, according to Ensalaco, who also
serves as the Rev. Raymond A. Roesch Chair in Social Sciences.

It’s a timely effort. This week, the FBI, as part of a nationwide initiative
to end domestic sex trafficking of children, recovered 52 children and
arrested 60 pimps allegedly involved in child prostitution. That included
seven juveniles from Toledo and pimps in Toledo and Columbus, according to

Ensalaco and sociology professor and conference co-chair Claire Renzetti say
human trafficking is largely a hidden crime, but the problem is enormous.

— As many as 20 million people worldwide are subjected to slavery or
modern-day forms of slavery, such as involuntary servitude, peonage or
debt bondage, according to the U.S. State Department and the United
Nations Office of Drugs and Crime. Victims are typically women and
children who are often afraid to seek help for fear they’ll be
for prostitution or immigration violations;
— As many as 800,000 victims are trafficked into slavery across national
boundaries each year, according to the U.S. State Department;
— As many as 17,000 people are trafficked into the U.S. each year from
Asia, Central and South America, and Eastern Europe. They are
for prostitution, stripping and pornography, domestic servitude; and
sweatshop labor and migrant agricultural work, according to the U.S.
State Department;

— Ohio is an origin, transit and destination state for human
according to the FBI. Ensalaco estimates the state has at least 100

The conference will kick off at 7 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 9, in the Sears Recital
Hall with a conversation with E. Benjamin Skinner, winner of the 2009 Dayton
Literary Peace Prize for non-fiction for A Crime So Monstrous: Face to Face
With Modern Day Slavery. Luis C. de Baca, ambassador-at-large in the U.S.
State Department’s Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking Persons, has been
invited to participate. It’s free and open to the public and will be followed
by a book signing.

An afternoon invitation-only working session with federal, state and local law
enforcement officials and victims’ advocates will take place on Tuesday, Nov.
10. Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray will address the working session
about stopping human trafficking in Ohio.

A 6 p.m. public forum in the Kennedy Union Ballroom, “Trafficking is Slavery,”
will feature a keynote talk by Kristyn Peck Williams, program support
coordinator for the Anti-Trafficking Services Program of the U.S. Conference
of Catholic Bishops/Migration and Refugee Services office. A panel will
include Sharla Musabih and Yeshe Riske, founders of United Hope in United Arab
Emirates and Ethiopia; Celia Williamson, activist and University of Toledo
professor of social work who developed the Lucas County Human Trafficking
Coalition; and Theresa Flores, author of The Sacred Bath: An American Teen’s
Story of Modern Day Slavery.

At 15, Flores was drugged, raped and tortured for two years while living in an
upper-class suburb in Detroit. After 20 years of silence, she began telling
her story to help others. A licensed social worker, she is the director of
development for Gracehaven, a safe home in Dublin, Ohio, for girls under the
age of 18 who have been victims of commercial sexual exploitation. She earned
a master’s degree in counseling education from the University of Dayton in

The evening will wrap up with the screening of the film, “Playground,” and a
conversation with filmmaker Libby Spears. Independent filmmaker Steven Bognar
of FilmDayton will moderate the discussion.

The Dayton Human Trafficking Accords conference is the latest in a series of
conferences organized by the University of Dayton to address human rights
issues, such as violence against women and the rights of children. Last
October, at a campus event held in partnership with the Minneapolis-based
Center for Victims of Torture, University of Dayton President Daniel J. Curran
and Cincinnati Archbishop Daniel Pilarczyk signed a national petition calling
for the president of the United States to reject torture.

The University of Dayton is a pioneer in human rights education. In 1998, the
University launched the country’s first undergraduate human rights program.
In 2007, the University of Dayton began offering a bachelor’s degree in human
rights studies.

For more information about the Dayton Human Trafficking Accords conference,
937-229-2765 or visit

Available Topic Expert(s): For information on the listed expert(s), click
appropriate link.
Mark Ensalaco

SOURCE University of Dayton

Published in: on October 28, 2009 at 7:21 am  Comments (1)  
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One CommentLeave a comment

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