Human Trafficking in Rural Contexts: A Comparative Look at Domestic and Global Settings

Maureen N. Eke, PhD | September 21 | 10:15-11:15 AM | Room 2584

Topic: Research | Knowledge Level: Intermediate

The Atlantic Slave trade ended in 1807 and the United States ended slavery in 1865. While nations proclaimed national acts and policies that put an end to slavery, the practice did not necessarily stop. As research and anecdotal evidence reveal, slavery, in various forms, has persisted into the current century. Today, modern day slavery is present among us. Hence, human trafficking is defined as or likened to modern day slavery. While much focus has been given to urban centers, human trafficking in rural communities is often not highlighted, although such locations are also vulnerable targets of human traffickers. The presentation will compare case studies in terms of the triggers and nature of trafficking in the communities examined, paying particular attention to the rural contexts, domestically and internationally. The presenter will refer to case studies and/or research cases from Nigeria and Michigan, USA. The Michigan example comes from a) anecdotal evidence, specifically, the presenter’s observations and conversations with community members during presentations on human trafficking across three counties; b) analysis of responses to a two-part survey by the CGI Human Trafficking Coalition located in Mt. Pleasant, MI. The Coalition’s two-part survey sought to find out the communities’ knowledge on human trafficking and the communities’ resource-readiness in relation to addressing human trafficking. The Nigerian examples come from anecdotal evidence based on conversations and interactions with groups involved in anti-human trafficking work, research on the topic, as well as conversations with residents of two rural communities about the subject.

Presentation Objectives:

·  Provide knowledge of the nature of human trafficking in an international context.

·  Describe the nature of human trafficking in rural communities.

·  Consider human trafficking from a comparative perspective.

·  Discuss community responses to combat human trafficking.

·  Examine, discuss, and share suggestions for further community actions.

About the Presenter