Posts in 2015
The Pop-Up: A Lower Cost and More Mobile Alternative to Dedicated Anti-Trafficking Facilities

When most organizations plan to offer services pertaining to human trafficking, they most often contemplate a large, dedicated care facility. However, the stationary model may not allow access to the client base due to location, and the incredibly high cost places it out of reach for all but the most well-funded organizations. Over the past year, The Imagine Foundation of Cleveland, Ohio has been developing a unique facility and programming model taken from small, start-up businesses—the pop-up. This temporary and highly mobile model enables a low-cost alternative to high-cost infrastructure by utilizing existing, underused facilities, a professionally trained volunteer base, and a network of partnered organizations.

The Cleveland Pop-up is part of a prevention and recidivism reduction model that aims to implement career services to those involved within human trafficking—both potential perpetrators and victim/survivors in the belief that access to the formal economy through employment can help alleviate some of the contributing factors leading up to exploitation. During the intensive, one-day program, career services are located in close proximity to high-risk areas including hotels/motels, areas known to be conducive to prostitution, and halfway houses or prisons. In the Cleveland area, during the past year, over 200 clients have come to the various pop-up locations seeking career services to leave “the life” and earn employment within the formal economy.

The objective for this presentation is to introduce the advocacy and care community to a new and unique service model that allows providers to operate in a highly localized, mobile and cost effective way.

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Human Trafficking 101 Just Doesn’t Cut It: Awareness, Prevention and Social Justice for the LGBTQ+ Experience

Two of the most prominent social justice issues of our time are human trafficking and the oppression of sex/sexuality/gender minorities, yet it is frequently overlooked just how often these two issues converge. Although specific figures are challenging to identify, it is known that every year hundreds of thousands of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender/sex, queer, etc. (LGBTQ+) are victimized through human sex trafficking (Martinez & Kelle, 2013). Moreover, research demonstrates that they are at higher risk of being trafficked than their non-LGBTQ+ counterparts (Cochran, Stewart, Ginzler, & Cauce, 2002; Martinez & Kelle, 2013; Tyler, 2008). In addition to a general awareness, what is often missing in the conversation is how and why this population is at particular risk of being sold for sex, along with increasing preventative measures. This presentation will address awareness, prevention, intervention, and social justice of the sex trafficking of LGBTQ+ individuals through a three step process. An overview of the research findings on this segment of the issue will be detailed, bringing the awareness into clear focus. Next, education will be provided on the issues faced by the LGBTQ+ community which puts them at particularly high risk of being manipulated and victimized. Such issues include, but are not limited to, the high rates of un-housed LGBTQ+ youth, and how nationally 60% of them report being sexually victimized (Lillie, 2013). Finally, the presenters will provide specific, concrete tools that can be utilized to combat the trafficking of LGBTQ+ persons. These resources will include direct social justice action steps, and an overview of LGBTQ+-affirmative approaches (AAMFT, 2014; Kort, 2008) These approaches can be utilized by any professional or student across a wide-range of disciplines including law enforcement, criminal justice, social work, and counseling. Through this approach, participants will leave this presentation with the information and resources to address the problem of LGBTQ+ human sex trafficking.

1) Identify and describe the awareness components associated with LGBTQ+ human trafficking.
2) Identify and describe the risk-factors which place LGBTQ+ at higher risk of human trafficking than non-LGBTQ+.
3) Implement measures to prevent the human trafficking of LGBTQ+ through individual and community interventions, and social justice activities.
4) Understand the foundational elements of affirmative approaches in working with LGBTQ+.

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Is There a Pill for That?

As those who have been victimized and exploited begin to recover and heal from the trauma of having been trafficked, there are a number of supports they can make use of to improve their emotional well-being. Often times, mental health counseling or therapy is appropriate for some individuals while others may require psychotropic medications either alone or in addition to therapy. This presentation will address the role of psychiatric medications in working with and treating human trafficking victims and survivors.

1)  Accurately describe which categories of mental health medications are most appropriate in working with this population;
2) Accurately explain how and why they work;
3) Discuss the side effects and problems the individual needs to be aware of while taking the medications; and
4) Discuss when psychotropic medications are not enough as well as when they are not indicated

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Case Overview From a Law Enforcement Perspective

This session will discuss the details of a human trafficking case investigation by the FBI and Toledo Police. This presentation will cover the investigation from start to conviction, going over such things as the sting itself, victim witness issue's, and the trial. The presenters will also show clips from training video used to educate police officers on what to look for when engaging potential victims and/or traffickers. 

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Using Clinical Simulation to Educate Student Nurses about Human Trafficking

        Approximately 50% of victims of human trafficking in the USA are seen by health care personnel at least once. However, most healthcare personnel fail to recognize the signs of trafficking and do nothing to intervene. Sabella (2011) challenged nurse educators to incorporate awareness of human trafficking into teaching/learning activities in undergraduate and graduate nursing programs.
       Although many student nurses have some awareness of human trafficking, they are uncertain of the role of the nurse when the patient is may also be a victim of human trafficking. To remedy this deficit, clinical simulation could be used to raise awareness of human trafficking and the role of the nurse. Clinical simulation provides a means to supplement clinical experiences and guarantee exposure to clinical situations deemed as critical experiences. As no clinical simulation that integrated a victim of human trafficking as the patient was identified, the presenter developed and implemented such a simulation into the BSN curriculum.
       It is recommended that this simulation be adapted for use in other healthcare academic programs or health care institutions. Participation in this learning activity provides a means to help prepare healthcare personnel to interact with a patient who is also a victim of human trafficking.


1)       Appreciate the importance of integrating information about human trafficking into healthcare education programs;

Understand how a clinical simulation could be used as an educational modality to raise awareness of human trafficking

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Understanding Trauma and its Impact on a Person’s Life

When working with human trafficking victims it is important to have an understanding of trauma and the impact it has on a person’s life. It is important to develop the ability to work with people through a trauma and culturally sensitive lens. Join the presenters as they define trauma; explore the different definitions related to trauma; give examples of the impact trauma has in our community; and present information about community resources.
1) Participants will be able to define trauma and how it differs from everyday stress.
2) Participants will have an understanding of the different definitions related to trauma: Complex trauma, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) etc.
3) Participants will have an increased understanding of the magnitude of trauma in the community and across the country and be provided with relevant statistics and data.
4) Participants will be presented with a case example that will highlight all of the learning from the session and give a deeper understanding of the impact of trauma on the person as they walk through the various systems.
5) Participants will be informed of the importance of trauma informed care when working with victims. They will gain knowledge of community resources; learn what questions to ask when seeking trauma specific care; and be able to identify a trauma informed approach and services.

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International Human Trafficking: A Global Disaster

Human trafficking is an epidemic that has taken the world by storm. In efforts to understand the complex issues surrounding human trafficking, commonalities have been identified. However, relevant differences among international populations must be illuminated for more effective and successful strategic efforts to combat this epidemic can be designed. Cultural and religious aspects affect the degree to which human trafficking has visibility or lack thereof, import and export of victims, law enforcement practices and policy development or lack thereof. Understanding the differences can only increase knowledge and further the movement to end human trafficking. The audience take away will be understanding specific trends that are culturally related in international settings, and what problems they present in ending human trafficking.

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Child Prostitution and its Links with Child Trafficking and Mobility in Benin, Burkina Faso, and Niger: A Comparative Summary of 3 Study Reports

The presentation is based on three analogous studies on child prostitution in Benin, Burkina Faso and Niger. A mixed research method--quantitative and qualitative--was used to collect data from child participants and organization representatives. A convenience sample of individuals involved in prostitution, 261 girls in Benin, 243 girls in Burkina Faso, and 205 children including 192 girls and 13 boys in Niger, participated in the research. These studies established the profile and characteristics of children in prostitution, in West Africa. Recommendations were made to improve the mechanisms of prevention, protection and rehabilitation of children in prostitution. This international research, the first to be conducted on child prostitution in the West African region, provides substantial information on the phenomenon in major cities as well as small ones in the context of the region and documents several important aspects of the living conditions of the target population. Implications for policies, practice and research are discussed. Although not generalizable, the research findings challenge some global concepts on child prostitution. ECPAT France and ECPAT Luxembourg, members of ECPAT International, commissioned the three studies as part of their program PACTES to fight commercial sexual exploitation of children in the West African region.

1) Learn how cultural, social and economic environments shape child prostitution practices in West Africa

2) Gain an understanding of the connection between child prostitution and migration in the region

3) Explore challenges for assistance to children in prostitution in the region.

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Our Fashion Year: Drawing Connections Between the Garmet and Sex Trades Worldwide

“Our Fashion Year” is a presentation of an investigative comics journalism project that connects the garment trade to the sex trade worldwide, through international anti-trafficking NGOs. Originally published on Truthout, investigative journalist Anne Elizabeth Moore presents a lively look at a deeply complicated issue, presenting a viewpoint on the world of anti-trafficking NGOs that brings human and labor rights issues into sharp focus. Conference attendees will closely examine the fashion industry at large and its connections to the sex industry in a series of colorful comics created by some of the top-working comics creators in the US. They will be presented with hard evidence indicating that the results the anti-trafficking world claims as success are problematic and self-serving, and participants will be positioned to wonder what purposes the identification of trafficking as a global issue serves, who is funding its eradication, and what is being achieved. One of the leading critics of global anti-trafficking rhetoric, Anne Elizabeth Moore in this project works with Delia Jean, Melissa Mendes, Leela Corman, Ellen Lindner, and Julia Gfrörer to draw a very clear picture of how anti-trafficking organizations often end up perpetrating the exact practices they claim to be against.

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An Intro to DBT

Severe, chronic, and extensive sexual abuse sometimes leads to symptoms of Borderline Personality Disorder. Over the past three decades, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy was developed to treat the most difficult and deeply entrenched cycle of sexual abuse. In this workshop, participants will learn the history and rationale for the development of DBT as a distinct treatment model. In addition, participants will further learn the five main skill sets of DBT; how each of the five skill sets relates to specific clinical symptoms; and how to apply the five skill sets to clinical populations.

1) Participants will learn the history and rationale for the development of DBT as a distinct treatment model.
2) Participants will learn the five main skill sets of the DBT model.
3) Participates will learn how each of the five skill sets relates to specific clinical symptoms.
4) Participants will learn specific examples of how to apply the five skill sets to clinical populations.

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Green Dot: Stopping Violence in our Schools and Universities Using the Bystander Approach

The Green Dot Strategy is a comprehensive approach to violence prevention that is capsulized on the power of peer and cultural influences across all levels and ages of the Socio-Ecological model. Informed by the social change theory, the model targets all community members, as potential bystanders, and seeks to engage them, through awareness, education, and skills-practice, in proactive behaviors that establish intolerance of violence as the norm, as well as reactive interventions in high risk situations- resulting in the ultimate reduction of violence.

A Green Dot etc. training is distinct from a typical conference experience. In addition to learning the core curriculum, the Green Dot etc. training engages participants in skill-building and analysis focused on fostering authentic relationships, personal connection and mastery of skills and knowledge necessary for effective persuasive communication.

A foundational tenet of the Green Dot etc. violence prevention strategy is the belief that we cannot expect others to engage in a process we are not willing to engage in ourselves.

1) Gain an understanding of the Green Dot etc. 

2) Engage in an in-depth examination of their personal and professional connection to the issue of violence prevention.
3) Understand personal, cultural, and societal obstacles to action.
4) Equip bystanders with the knowledge and empowerment to become an educated active bystander.

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#OnlineTrafficking101: Buying off the Streets is so Passé

Now more than ever, human sex trafficking is being facilitated online. In fact, “technology has become the single greatest facilitator of the commercial sex trade” (Shared Hope International, 2012, p. 5). To have any kind of impact for individual survivor/victims and social justice issues surrounding human trafficking, anti-trafficking efforts must re-conceptualize the image of women and girls walking the streets at night looking for customers, to what is flashing across computer screens. Sites such as Craigslist, Backpage, a plethora of “hook-up” sites, and yes even Facebook and Twitter, are used to recruit and sell sex trafficking victims. It is not the case that all online sex work is a situation of trafficking; however, research reveals it is overwhelmingly situations of trafficking (Hughes, 2002; Latonero, 2011; Thorn, 2014). This is especially true of minor sex trafficking, not only because of youth social media use which puts them at risk of being trafficked, but also because the location of the underage victim can be kept secret more easily by advertising online. A recent study conducted by Thorn (2014) demonstrates this with the discovery that up to 70% of child trafficking survivor/victims are sold online. The use of the Internet provides traffickers with even more anonymity (of themselves and their victims), as well as the ability to sell and re-sell the same individual more frequently than through any other location (e.g. on the street). Consequently, it becomes more challenging to identity and prosecute the traffickers, as well as to find the victims and assist in their progress to survivor.

This presentation will bring to light a critical awareness element of online sex trafficking. This will be accomplished by reviewing examples directly from active websites, a list of websites and sales tactics frequently used by traffickers, and essential research surrounding this method of selling survivor/victims. Prevention recommendations will also be provided, with special emphasis given to youth risk factors associated with online trafficking recruitment. Finally, practical suggestions for social justice on this issue will be addressed.

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My Past is Not My Future

       This presentation will explore a local survivors story of becoming an incredible thriver..? Michelle Moore's story started out like many others: the daughter of a prominent Toledo attorney and a stay at home mother, raised with strong Catholic values. But that all changed when her boyfriend got tangled in alcohol and drugs. Soon, she was trafficked to pay off his drug debt. So began twenty years of nightmares for Michelle.
       After a near-death experience, Michelle regained control of her life. Eight years later, her life has completely turned around from that moment on the streets of North Toledo. She has been clean and sober since, working to keep others from the life. Sharing the same past as the clients she serves allows Michelle to use her experience, strength, and hope of recovery, to save them from the decades of hell that she survived. Michelle continues to push for survivor leadership, helping to prepare these women to move beyond victimization to thriving. With her intimate understanding of survivor's challenges, she is able to build a supportive environment with trauma informed groups, art therapy, and self-esteem building exercises, so that they may live freely by choice, and not be compelled by their prior circumstance.
        Michelle is now a full time Recovery Specialist at RISE and holds a Chemical Dependency Counselor Certificate, as well as a Bachelor's in Counseling. She currently serves on the Board of Directors of Advocating Opportunity. Michelle has won the prestigious Liberator Award from Ohio Governor Kasich for her dedication to human trafficking. Michelle is also in the process of expunging of her record under the Safe Harbor Law.

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GIFT: A Novel Evidenced-based Probation Model for Women on Probation for Prostitution Related Offenses

Gaining Independence for Females in Transition (GIFT) project was developed by a multi-jurisdictional team from corrections, research, and community agencies in response to community concerns about prostitution in Minneapolis. GIFT is probation. Here the presenters describe the model and present data from their recently concluded study that shows that GIFT is successful in reducing recidivism by working with women to improve their life circumstances while on probation. GIFT was designed using research on prostitution, gender responsive corrections and practices in community court. The core components of GIFT involve a specific model of authority to shape the role of each system partner, intentional service delivery through support, non-judgment and respect, and the use of an actuarial assessment tool to target individual case-planning and intervention in partnership with each woman. Based on four years of evaluation data using a quasi-experimental design, the presenters found that GIFT reduces recidivism for prostitution-related offenses and that it leads to life improvements for women who complete their probation. While this model is embedded in probation practice, they believe many of the core components are transferable to other types of programming for women in prostitution.
1) Understand the core components of a new, successful model for reducing prostitution recidivism by working with women to improve their life circumstances;
2) Explore ways this model may be applicable to other types of prostitution-related programming;
3) Learn about a quasi-experimental research design to evaluate effectiveness of this program

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The Hunting Ground

From the team behind THE INVISIBLE WAR, comes a startling documentary of rape crimes on U.S. campuses, institutional cover-ups and the brutal social toll on victims and their families. Weaving together footage and first-person testimonies, the film follows survivors as they pursue their education while fighting for justice.

A brief talk-back will be held immediately following the film. Information will be provided on how to report an incident at UT and where victims and survivors can find support.

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Understanding Vulnerability: Unlocking the Key to Human Trafficking in Caribbean Commercial Sexual Tourism and Abroad

After creating the first human trafficking risk assessment and prevalence estimation model for minors in the United States, Dr. Durgana applies the same theoretical and statistical modeling insights to the issue of human trafficking in Caribbean sexual tourism in this lecture. She deconstructs vulnerability to human trafficking by appealing to the UN human security theoretical framework. She also provides context on how to best inform potential interventions for human trafficking prevention in the Caribbean and the United States from the perspectives of both regions. Survivor Advocates, Academics, Community Members, and others will find this lecture to be a unique perspective into the state of human trafficking in nearby Caribbean and abroad, with an engaging open discussion on the many potential ways to combat this issue moving forward. 

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Sex Work, Human Trafficking, and Social Justice

Sex Work, Human Trafficking, and Social Justice is a panel of three sex workers - One who is trans, one African American, one who was raped, beaten and abducted, one who was assaulted by several clients, who talk about their own experiences and how anti-trafficking trends affected them. Topics discussed are transmisogyny (structural violence against trans women) misogyny and anti-trans violence, survival sex and exploitation, gaps in services and the need for trauma-informed care, and health and harm reduction in our communities. The panel will explain and examine the difference between sex work and sex trafficking, from sex workers’ perspectives. Kristen DiAngelo, Pearl Callahan, and Delphine Brody have over 80 years’ combined experience in the sex industry and sex trades.

1) Understand the impacts of structural violence on trans sex workers and trans people who trade sex.
2) Discuss anti-trafficking techniques and their adverse consequences (end-demand, street stings, massage parlor code enforcement, etc).
3) Understand and discuss the ideas surrounding survival sex/sex trades.
4) Grasp the idea of complex trauma in sex work and sex trades, and how it occurs.
5) Have a working knowledge of what you can do to interrupt the cycle.
6) Obtain a set of resources who are experts on sex work and sex trades for use in your organization.
7) Evaluate the content of the anti-trafficking information you are being given.
8) Draw informed conclusions that reflect an understanding of multiple (and sometimes conflicting) sources of information.

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Disabled Trafficking Victims

Many disabled victims of human trafficking are ignored, both by disability organizations and by human trafficking organizations. This presentation will give many examples of disabled victims of human trafficking and will challenge advocates to be more aware of these victims. It will examine a wide range of impairments - people who are blind, amputees, people with physical impairments, cognitive impairments, psychiatric impairments, explaining how all of these groups are exploited in various ways in the sex industry and in forced labor. Finally, the presentation will provide many strategies and suggestions on how to respond more appropriately to disabled victims of trafficking.

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The Intersection of Criminalization of HIV and the Sex Trade

While people in the sex trade are often treated as vectors of disease, people are often put at higher risk because of the way sex work and HIV are treated in the United States. Over the last year, the Sex Workers Project and the Global Health Justice Partnership at Yale University have embarked on a research project to explore the intersections of criminalization of sex work and HIV. This presentation will explore the ways in which HIV, sex work and criminalization overlap to create the conditions which increase transmission, disincentive HIV testing and safer sex tools, and increase criminalization of those in the sex trade. As each of these issues has a unique set of factors, we will look at specific case studies of how these major issues interact in New York, Georgia, Tennessee, and California, and highlight the unique perspectives that each location brings. In each of these locations we will also dig into ways in which communities are coming together and building coalitions to push back and create real change on the ground. Participants will walk away with a better understanding of the issue, as well as opportunities to investigate these issues in their home state.

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The Injustice of Trafficking: Reframing the Anti-Trafficking Conversation

In this presentation, the audience will be asked to question one of the foundational concepts of anti-trafficking work and ask: Is anti-trafficking a criminal justice issue? This presentation will examine that question, and what it means to use a criminal justice framework to address a social justice problem. First we will explore the various ways in which we institutionalize this work within a criminal justice framework, including through laws and social dialogue. We will look at the problems with contextualizing the issue as one of victim/victimizer, the concept of success as a question of laws and expansion of law enforcement, and the harms of couching anti-trafficking in terms of numbers of arrests and prosecutions. Case studies which juxtapose the use of criminal justice-based mechanisms with other forms of anti-trafficking work will be utilized as we explore the ideas of what anti-trafficking work is, what justice looks like, and alternative frameworks which could lead to more rights-based and survivor-centered outcomes.

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