Posts in 2017
One-Year Snapshot of Sex Trafficking in Las Vegas, NV

Research findings will be presented from a one-year snapshot of sex trafficking cases in Las Vegas, Nevada. This study is a unique partnership between Arizona State University and the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, and allowed for an inside look at the development of VICE cases and case actions. Trends in the sex trafficking of minors and adults will be discussed, including recruitment methods, transportation of victims, place of origin, elements of force, fraud and coercion, gang involvement, and criminal histories of the traffickers.

Presentation Objectives:

  • Present research findings from a one-year snapshot of sex trafficking cases in Las Vegas, Nevada
  • Explore trends in the sex trafficking of minors and adults
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Reaching Ohio’s Vulnerable Populations: Human Trafficking Screens in State Institutions

The Governor’s Ohio Human Trafficking Task Force was created in 2012 to help exploited children and adults facing dire circumstances in Ohio. An initial recommendation of the Task Force was for the state to develop a standardized screening process for victims of human trafficking to be used by state agencies providing direct services. As a result, Ohio implemented a human trafficking screening tool in state prisons, state psychiatric hospitals, and juvenile correctional facilities. The screening tool, along with its guide, were created to provide state agencies with a tool to be used to identify victims of human trafficking and make referrals for appropriate services. The guide provides staff with an explanation on how to administer the screening tool and tips for using the tool. Since the implementation of the screening tool, over 50,000 screens have been conducted. In 2016, The University of Toledo was contracted to assess the screening tool and develop recommendations regarding strengths and weaknesses.

Presentation Objectives:

  • Describe the screening process in state-run facilities and how it varies between youth and adults who are incarcerated or hospitalized
  • Describe the treatment and services that are available for victims who are incarcerated when identified as a victim of trafficking
  • Share The University of Toledo’s findings and address next steps moving forward
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Human Trafficking in Turkey

Human trafficking, which has become a global problem, requires a global response. Thus, the United Nations as well as the European Union has taken an action to combat human trafficking globally.
According to the definition, “trafficking in persons” shall mean the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring or receipt of persons, by means of a threat or use of force or other forms of coercion, of abduction, of fraud, of deception, of the abuse of power or of a position of vulnerability or of the giving or receiving of payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over another person, for the purpose of exploitation (Article 3, paragraph (a) of the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons). In order to combat such a multidimensional problem of human trafficking, it is also important to determine strategies and methods as well as obtain global cooperation. In this context, the United Nations has set out an action framework for effective implementation. The Framework is based on the objectives of the United Nations Trafficking Protocol and its provisions, following the three internationally recognized themes of prevention, protection, and prosecution (the 3Ps) and national and international cooperation and coordination (UNODC, 2009b). In this frame, this study is focused on counter-trafficking efforts of Turkey. The aim of this study is to analyze counter-trafficking policies of Turkey with the 3Ps including the way they define human trafficking, existing legislation, institutions and methods used for combating trafficking.

Presentation Objectives:

·         Describe the United Nations and European Union’s response to the global problem of human trafficking

·         Discuss strategies to combat human trafficking and increase cooperation

·         Describe the 3Ps (prevention, protection, and prosecution)

·         Explain counter-trafficking efforts in Turkey

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Body Rub Centre Task Force/Exposure

In 2014 The City of Edmonton was exploring changes to their municipal regulatory framework impacting Body Rub Centers as well as escorts through the Body Rub Centre Task Force. This group consisted of law enforcement, social service providers, government officials, sex workers, and body rub center owners. At this same time, the federal laws changed in Canada to decriminalize the selling of one’s own sexual services and re-focus enforcement on protecting victims of trafficking and exploitation and vulnerable communities, and hold buyers and traffickers to a higher account. This session will explore how these criminal changes have impacted the work within the bylaws. The presenters with discuss the addition of another bylaw officer and a social worker to the City’s team and some of the work that this team is involved in. Finally, they will discuss the development of software, coined “Exposure”, which they are currently using to automate their online enforcement and outreach efforts.

Presentation Objectives:

·       Provide a basic overview of the recent changes to Canadian criminal law

·       Describe the City of Edmonton Body Rub Centre Task Force and the recommendations to City Council

·       Explain Edmonton’s bylaws and efforts to make the licensed adult services industry safer for workers

·       Describe the current use, and potential future uses, of our locally developed online adult listing software

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Human Trafficking: The Global Monster

Trafficking in persons shall mean the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring, trading, or receipt of persons for the purpose of exploitation WITHIN and ACROSS national borders by the use of threat, force, or other forms of coercion, such as fraud, deception, the abuse of power, or exploitation of vulnerability. The illegal trade of human beings occurs locally and internationally for the purpose of exploitation. Exploitation has been defined to include induced prostitution, other forms of sexual exploitation, forced labour slavery or practices similar to slavery, servitude, or the removal of organs.
Presentation Objectives:

·       Discuss the types of trafficking related to Ghana and Africa as a whole

·       Discuss human trafficking and child labor in Africa

·       Describe the causes of human trafficking

·       Discuss the reasons for human trafficking

·       Examine legal frameworks

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The Artist Social Worker: Ways of Bringing the Best of Self to Practice

As part of a committee charged with bringing the power of art to a social justice conference, the presenters worked to bring innovative art that expresses emotion and experience of social injustice. Art and poetry exhibits as well as art performance, such as dance and theater, tell a story about injustice in a way that academic and professional presentations cannot. Throughout history, artists are often the first group to raise alarm about injustice. Research has shown that art and empathy are connected. The audience will learn the transformative potential of the use of art to raise awareness and provoke social justice action. The audience will share in discussions about ways of bringing various forms of art to various community settings.

Presentation Objectives:

·       Describe how art and poetry tells a different story about injustice

·       Discuss the transformative potential of art

·       Start a discussion about ways to bring art to the community

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Moving Beyond Rescue: Creating Safety, Belonging, and Empowerment

This workshop proposes a paradigm shift that redefines the implementation of trauma-informed care for human trafficking survivors. Presented from their multidisciplinary and strength-based perspective, the presenters will develop and apply Trauma-Informed Practices (TIPs) that service providers, academics, and policy makers can utilize in improving response to all forms of human trafficking. Collaborative accompaniment is a way of creating and envisioning safety and reciprocity with, for, and among survivors and those who accompany them. The purpose of this workshop is to demonstrate that anti-trafficking response should give human trafficking survivors something to move towards, not just something to "escape" from. Collaborative partners support survivors as they seek to develop their strengths and coping skills for moving into the future.

Presentation Objectives:

  • Develop a stronger understanding of core accompaniment concepts: safety, belonging, and empowerment
  • Consider new ways for creating safety while prioritizing empowerment and a sense of belonging
  • Brainstorm long-term approaches to incorporate in anti-trafficking policy and practice

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Using the Sensory Modulation Program to Advance Interventions: Treating Post-traumatic Stress Disorder and Other Behavioral Health Disorders

A call to awareness regarding sex trafficking has increased research, bolstered social justice efforts, improved education, and influenced federal laws that protect victims and prosecute traffickers. Federal laws on sex trafficking are now being used through undercover sting operations via the Internet to arrest and prosecute buyers who attempt to engage in commercial sex with minors. A narrative analysis was completed to create an in-depth case study outlining the correspondences between a buyer and an undercover agent advertising trafficked children for sex. Participants are afforded a rare opportunity to examine actual emails related to the purchase of a child for sexual exploitation. The emails were used against the buyer as evidence within the court of law. The authors assert that the following case study will contribute to the body of literature on the victim selection processes and cognitive distortions employed by buyers of children for sex.

Presentation Objectives:

·       Describe the current tactics being used to prosecute buyers of sex trafficking

·       Present a case study of a buyer looking to purchase underage sex online

·       Allow participants to explore details of this case

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Survivor Story

Gina Hope will share her personal story of being sold by her mother and held for over four years by a gang until escaping only to be trafficked by those she thought were her rescuers. Her road to healing has created a desire in her to help others. Everyone has trials in life, but all can overcome. Gina has begun research and will speak about what may make children vulnerable to traffickers and how abusers are able to use PAS to get away with, and in some cases, continue abuse. The presenter will also discuss prevention for middle school children, which is a targeted age range for American traffickers. For example, prevention could cover how middle school children have to catch the bus in the dark, blocks away from their homes, but next to a place where traffickers have previously approached children.

Presentation Objectives:

·       Share her personal story of trafficking

·       Describe areas of prevention for middle school children

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Service Provision to Child Victims of Commercial Sexual Exploitation in West Africa

While there is substantial research on the characteristics of the commercial sexual exploitation of children (CSEC) in sub-Saharan Africa, there is almost no knowledge on support services provided to child victims. A mixed research method was used to explore the services available to CSEC victims in the West African region. Convenience sampling was used to select 709 children in prostitution and 64 leaders of structures dealing with CSEC in the region. A survey questionnaire was used to collect data from the children and semi-structured interview guides were used to collect data from organization leaders. The findings show that the needs of CSEC victims in West Africa diverged from those identified in the mainstream literature, which partly explains why few victims could access services. Service needs of CSEC victims in the region are different from care models in the literature, especially regarding trauma-focused care. Issues of service provision were linked to various difficulties encountered by the structures, including lack of understanding of needs of CSEC victims; lack of resources for support services; lack of outreach interventions, and socio-cultural factors. Implications for practice, policy and research will be discussed.
Presentation Objectives:

·       Review policy responses to CSEC in West Africa

·       Analyze stakeholders’ input in the policy response and service provision to CSEC victims/survivors in the region through the framework of aftercare services regarding human trafficking cases

·       Highlight the distinctiveness of service needs of CSEC victims

·       Highlight the challenges for service access and provision in West Africa, in contrast with the mainstream literature on the issue

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Our Story – Our Truth: Women of Color Survivorship

This presentation will provide participants an opportunity to gain an understanding of the history of Women of Color as it relates to sexual violence and the anti-oppression/anti-violence movement. The presenter will discuss the implications and present-day manifestations of historical trauma on Women of Color, as well as the systematic failures that impact Women of Color from accessing needed services. Finally, the presenter will teach the audience ways in which they can become trauma-informed, and how they can engage with Women of Color survivors while incorporating cultural humility.

Presentation Objectives:

·         Describe the history of Women of Color as it related to sexual violence

·         Explain instances of historical trauma on Women of Color which lead to systematic failures

·         Describe engagement strategies and ways to be trauma-informed

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The Healing and Inspiring Power of Story

In this presentation, Callan will introduce participants to the power of personal story and how they can use it to heal themselves while providing hope and inspiration to others facing challenges similar to the ones they've encountered. Callan will guide them through a creative process to revisit, reframe, and tell their stories effectively and succinctly - either in a private journal for their own benefit or with a group for the benefit of all. Those who choose to share their stories with the larger community may elect to be videotaped at a subsequent storytelling workshop for inclusion in the Village Wisdom Portal, a free online community resource to give hope and inspiration during challenging times.

Presentation Objectives:

  • Explain how personal stories affects people
  • Provide insights and tools to most effectively reframe and tell personal stories to facilitate personal healing
  • Share first-hand feedback from someone that's chosen to tell and share their story publicly
  • Provide participants an opportunity to share their story publicly for their own benefit as well as the benefit of others
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Rights as Rescue: Inclusive Sex Worker-Led Grassroots Organizing

Set against the historical backdrop of the sex worker rights movement, this session will explore sex worker-led grassroots organizing. Organizations from different regions will discuss the tactics of community building, developing support services, destigmatization, and harm reduction to promote the safety and dignity of fellow sex trade workers in their area. As every group has a unique story, panelists will compare and contrast the challenges faced by each group, and the solutions found. Finally, panelists will speak about the current needs of their communities, and how allies can work together to end violence against sex trade workers.

Presentation Objectives:

·         Explore various sex worker-led grassroots organizations from various regions across the country

·         Discuss the tactics used by these organizations

·         Compare and contrast challenges and solutions of each organization

·         Describe the current needs in each organization’s community

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"Predatory Prostitute" by Juniper Fleming

Predatory Prostitute is rooted in the compelling relationships sex workers have, both directly and indirectly, to the legacy of Aileen Wuornos. Demonized as an inverted prostitute serial killer or pitied as a child/animal, her portrait hangs heavy. The term ‘predatory prostitute’ was coined by John Tanner, the Florida state attorney who prosecuted Aileen Wuornos in 1992. The is the story of a lesbian prostitute sentenced to death six times for seven murders, though she claimed self-defense. The media, the court, and the public condemned Wuornos with vigor. Fleming uses footage to invert the common narratives around Aileen, creating an alternative framework by which we can view her actions and ourselves. Running Time: 25 minutes

Presentation Objective:

·       Review sex worker experiences via a documentary

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Put Your Oxygen Mask on First: Practicing Self-Care When Faced With Compassion Fatigue

For those working in the helping professions, compassion fatigue is as common as turbulence during a windy flight. In order to address this turbulence, one must develop self-care strategies and warning systems to let them know they are moving into the caution zone, and the oxygen masks will soon deploy. Prevention and self-care can best happen when professionals are able to distinguish between and identify personal and professional vulnerabilities. This interactive workshop will help professionals renew their passion and commitment to the field and their work.
Presentation Objectives:

·       Explain the difference between vicarious trauma, compassion fatigue, Secondary Traumatic Stress Disorder, and burnout

·       Discuss the shifts that occur on a personal level of functioning and ways to prevent negative effects by identifying opportunities for self-care

·       Explain how to identify personal and professional factors that place one at greater risk of compassion fatigue

·       Discuss the impact compassion fatigue has on job performance, personal coping skills, and job/life satisfaction.

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Addiction in the Workplace

By discussing various scenarios that may arise in the workplace, what employers can (and cannot) legally do, and some best practice ideas for employers (including a clear drug and alcohol policy that is followed and enforced), this presentation will educate employees about their rights in the workplace if they are struggling with an alcohol or drug (including prescription) addiction, and educate employers as to their legal obligations in dealing with employees with addiction issues. The Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) requires employers with more than 15 employees to provide reasonable accommodations to employees that have disabilities, unless doing so would impose an undue burden on the employer. Using hypotheticals, the presenter will break down what constitutes a disability; when an addiction may rise to the level of a disability; what is a “reasonable accommodation;” some examples of accommodations to discuss (and the ongoing duty to have that discussion); and the nature of an “undue burden.” Small employers likely have similar obligations under state laws. Employers will learn how they can work with employees who suffer from addiction but are trying to become clean and sober.  Employees will learn that they may be entitled to various accommodations under the law (ADA and Family Medical Leave Act), and how to request these accommodations before their addiction becomes a performance or conduct problem that results in their demotion or termination. Further, both employers and employees will learn about the importance of documentation in dealing with an addiction issue at work.

Presentation Objectives:

·       Identify when an addiction rises to the level of disability

·       Educate employers’ legal obligations in dealing with employees’ addiction issues

·       Discuss the nature of “undue burden”

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Voluntary Community Development Project as a Platform for Advocacy and Social Action

Volunteers are the most important resources community organizations have and need to be encouraged to carryout community development projects on anti-human trafficking. It is expedient to engage volunteers in advocacy and social action against human trafficking. To affirm the crucial role of volunteers in combating human trafficking, we mentored 50 volunteers to carryout community development projects in their communities. This presentation expounds how volunteers effectively engaged in advocacy and social action through community development projects. Fifty volunteers (between 19 and 30 years old) were mentored to carry out community development projects in four states in Nigeria in commemoration of 2017 World Day Against Trafficking in Persons. The volunteers were empowered with advocacy materials. They were expected to engage in advocacy and social action within two months before joining in the commemoration of World Day Against Trafficking in Persons, and send their reports for evaluation. From the evaluation, the results showed that all the volunteers engaged in strategic anti-human trafficking advocacy and social action through the following approaches: media campaign, community sensitization, school awareness, radio talk, training youth corps members, debate competition, etc. Three of the volunteers reported incidences of human trafficking and identified victims. Through their community development projects, they stimulated over 3,000 to be involved in combating human trafficking.

Presentation Objectives:

  • Explain the importance of the role of volunteers in advocacy and social action
  • Describe how volunteers effectively engaged in advocacy and social action through community development projects
  • Describe what volunteers did to engage in advocacy and social action
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What Top Leadership Skills Needed for New and Small Organizations to Become More Successful

Professionals are in this field because they have passions, and often go into this work to try to effect change in people and organizations. This presentation will focus on leadership and "The Business" - what people need to do to have a successful enterprise so they can not only help people and further the cause, they can actually sustain their business. It all hinges on leadership and how one interacts with different constituencies.
Presentation Objectives:

·       Discuss the need for organizational structure and how it can help one succeed

·       Describe the purpose of organizational structure and how it can help with accountability and focus (success)

·       Explain leadership roles and responsibility in developing, running, growing, and maintaining an organization

·       Define the top three leadership roles in managing an organization

·       Describe how leadership style has an impact on employee behavior

·       Help participants gain an understanding of how they behave and how it impacts the organization

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Alternative Methods in Social Work: Autoethnography as a Social Justice Approach

Traditional ethnography, along with other social science methods, have been critiqued by feminist scholars as being falsely objective. In traditional research, the researcher makes observations that are inevitably interpreted through the researcher’s worldview, which is often white, male, and privileged and therefore biased. Autoethnography is one way in which researchers have attempted to acknowledge the power dynamic between researcher and subject and the misinterpretation that happens because of economic and cultural differences between the researcher and the subjects. In Autoethnography, the researcher is also a subject and is an artist as well as a social science researcher. This method, that combines cultural observation and artistic self-awareness, requires deep self-reflection and daring self-disclosure that goes against typical social work clinical approaches. The presenters will share autoethnographic projects on grief and empathy with the audience. Dr. Natarajan’s piece will delve into the death of a loved one and subaltern theory, and Dr. Sloane’s piece will remember how her work with car accidents changed her thoughts on the importance of empathy to just social work practice. These research projects are at different stages, one at the very beginning and one about to be published. The audience will be asked to consider the helpfulness of autoethnography to provoke emotion and understanding of difference and how this method can be used as social justice action.

Presentation Objectives:

·       Define autoethnography

·       Share personal autoethnographic research projects

·       Encourage the audience to consider the helpfulness of autoethnography

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Sexual Assault Awareness

As an educator at a higher education institution, this presenter sees firsthand the struggles that many students have with making the adjustment to college life. That "adjustment period" often leaves students vulnerable to peer pressure and risky behaviors.

Presentation Objectives:

  • Educate the audience on what constitutes sexual assault
  • Outline the differences between sexual contact and sexual conduct
  • Describe how a victim of sexual assault may act after being victimized
  • Present strategies on how to combat this behavior on campuses and in our community
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