Eliza and the Midwife: A Historical Perspective on Fighting Human Trafficking

JoAnn Streeter Shade | September 22 | 1:30 - 2:30 PM | Room 3018

In 1885, The Salvation Army, social reformer Josephine Butler, and the Pall Mall Gazette joined together in a successful attempt to stem the trafficking of young girls from prostitution by raising the age of consent (for sexual activity) in London, England. This effort, known as the Maiden Tribute of Modern Babylon, involved a sensational newspaper series stemming from the actual purchase of a thirteen-year-old child (Eliza) to prove how easily a child could be obtained for illicit purposes. Drawing upon historical records, trial transcripts, and journal entries, Eliza's story illustrates the challenges faced by the reformers, as well as the ethical concerns as to their methods. The presentation will include opportunity to consider ethical and moral concerns in regards to contemporary advocacy for clients and legislation.

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