September 20, 2021

Human Trafficking: The Deafening Silence over Modern Slavery

Event Series: Free Speech at the Crossroads: International Dialogues

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Scarcely mentioned by the media amidst other international crises, human trafficking takes a tragic toll in large and small cities and rural areas around the world. In an insidious form of modern slavery, criminals in the shadows profit from the misery of the most vulnerable women and girls. This panel discussion featured legal and policy analysts of the issue, as well as heroic activists who work in the streets of London and a town in the American Midwest to rescue and heal the victims.

This event was co-sponsored by the Free Speech Project and the Future of the Humanities Project at Georgetown University.

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Christina Bain is a visiting research fellow within the Fletcher School’s Center for Strategic Studies at Tufts University and has been a visiting researcher within the Center for the Study of Europe at Boston University’s Frederick S. Pardee School of Global Studies. She is the former and founding director of Babson College’s Initiative on Human Trafficking and Modern Slavery and the former and founding director of the Harvard Kennedy School’s Program on Human Trafficking and Modern Slavery within the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy.

Lisa Hsin is the incoming Helsby Kroll Post-Doctoral Research Fellow in Business and Human Rights at the Bonavero Institute of Human Rights, University of Oxford. As a doctoral researcher, she was also a research fellow for the Modern Slavery Policy and Evidence Centre.

Pippa Hockton trained in psychotherapy at University of Birmingham. She practiced as a psychotherapist at the Royal Free Hospital in London before founding registered charity Street Talk in 2005. Street Talk takes psychotherapy to women in street prostitution and to women who have been the victims of traffickers.

Elesondra "Ele" DeRomano is a survivor of commercial sexual exploitation/sex trafficking, a local and national consultant, a motivational speaker, an advocate against all forms of exploitation, and the Founder of Standing Together Against Real Slavery (STARS), an organization based in Toledo, Ohio, dedicated to supporting and empowering young women who have experienced or are at high risk for commercial sexual exploitation.

Professor Michael Scott (moderator) is senior dean, fellow of Blackfriars Hall, the University of Oxford, college adviser for postgraduate students, and a member of the Las Casas Institute. He also serves as senior adviser to the president at Georgetown University. Scott was on the editorial board which relaunched Critical Survey from Oxford University Press. He previously served as the pro-vice-chancellor at De Montfort University and founding vice-chancellor of Wrexham Glyndwr University.

Sanford J. Ungar (moderator), president emeritus of Goucher College, is director of the Free Speech Project at Georgetown University, which documents challenges to free expression in education, government, and civil society in the United States. Director of the Voice of America under President Bill Clinton, he was dean of the American University School of Communication after a distinguished career in journalism. Ungar is a former co-host of All Things Considered on NPR.

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