MISSOULA – Leading experts, government officials and civic leaders from around the world will gather at the University of Montana Tuesday through Thursday, April 15-17, to discuss the prevalence and challenges of human trafficking during the 2014 Mansfield Conference: “Fight for Hope and Freedom: Human Trafficking, Montana & the World.” The conference will address how people can get involved in the fight against this international crisis.
As many as 27 million people worldwide are trapped in modern-day slavery, and up to 17,500 people are trafficked across the U.S. each year. Human traffickers earn $32 billion annually. In 2013, the Montana Legislature and the state Attorney General’s office took action to expand local laws, strengthen enforcement and increase awareness of this issue. Despite these encouraging efforts, Montana still has more work to do.
During the conference, four sessions and six workshops will feature guest speakers Lt. Gov. Angela McLean, Montana Attorney General Tim Fox, Sarah Symons of Made by Survivors, James Pond of Transitions Global, Melissa Farley of Prostitution Research and Education, Fiachra Kearney of Global Eye | Counter-Trafficking, Ethan Batstone of Not for Sale, Pralhad Dhakal of The ISIS Foundation, Brittany Vanderhoof of the Polaris Project, Thomas Kim of Justice Ventures International, Teresa Sobieszczyk of UM, Dana Toole of the Department of Justice, Cyndee Peterson of the U.S. Attorney’s Office and Carla Croft of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
The conference will be held in the University Center and sessions also will be streamed live online. The schedule follows.
Tuesday, April 15:
- Documentary: 7-8:30 p.m. UC Theater. Viewing of “Not My Life” and panel discussion with the Polaris Project.
Wednesday, April 16:
- Session One: 9:20-10:30 a.m. UC Ballroom. “What is Human Trafficking? What is Causing it?” Melissa Farley; discussant: Teresa Sobieszczyk; moderator: Kimber Haddix McKay.
- Session Two: 10:40 a.m.-12:20 p.m. UC Ballroom. “How Prevalent is Human Trafficking in the United States and Montana?” Dana Toole, Cyndee Peterson and Carla Croft; moderator: Jim Taylor.
- Special Session: 1:15-2 p.m. Available online and in the UC Ballroom via livestream. “Fighting Human Trafficking in Montana: Challenges and Opportunities.” Montana Attorney General Tim Fox.
- Session Three: 2:30-4 p.m. UC Ballroom. “Fighting Human Trafficking with Justice: National and International Fronts.” Thomas Kim, Fiachra Kearney and Brittany Vanderhoof; moderator: Sally Mauk.
- Special Session: 6:10-7:15 p.m. Available online and in the UC Ballroom via livestream. “Social Entrepreneurship – My Fight, My Journey, My Story Against Human Trafficking.” Sarah Symons and Ethan Batstone.
- Session Four: 7:30-9 p.m. UC Ballroom. “What About the Victims? Transition & Restoration.” James Pond and Pralhad Dhakal; moderator: Bob Seidenschwarz.
Thursday, April 17:
- Workshops Session One: 9-10:15 a.m. UC third floor. “Human Trafficking in Montana: Trends and Resources from the National Human Trafficking Resource Center” with the Polaris Project; “Using Law Enforcement, Legal Knowledge, and Technology to Fight Human Trafficking: Domestic and International” with Global Eye and Legal Atlas; and “Fighting Human Trafficking with Legal Training and Freedom Business” with Justice Ventures International.
- Workshops Session Two: 10:30-11:45 a.m. UC third floor. “Social Entrepreneurship and Human Trafficking” with Made by Survivors; “Best Practices to Restore and Reintegrate Victims” with The ISIS Foundation and Transitions Global; and “Prostitution and Human Trafficking” with Prostitution Research and Education.
- Workshops Session Three: noon-1:15 p.m. UC third floor. “Indicators of Human Trafficking in Our Schools and Communities” with the Department of Justice and Montana and U.S. Attorney’s Offices and “Human Trafficking on the Korean Peninsula” with the Korea National University of Education.
Sessions and workshops are free and open to the public, but space is limited. Visit http://www.mansfieldconference.org for more information and to register for a seat. The conference is co-sponsored by the Maureen and Mike Mansfield Center and Soroptimist International.