MINNEAPOLIS (Oct. 17, 2015) — Human Trafficking in the 21st Century and Minnesota’s plan to continue efforts to stop it was the subject of a Minnesota International Center conference at the Minneapolis Central Library on Oct. 9, 2015.
The 8th Annual Great Decisions Conference: Human Trafficking in the 21st Century conference keynote topics included Human Trafficking as a U.S. Foreign Policy Priority: Broader U.S. foreign policy implications and the U.S. Department of State’s TIP report, featuring Tom Hanson, Alworth Institute, University of Minnesota, Duluth.
Prior to his current role as Diplomat in Residence at UMD, Hanson was a U.S. Foreign Service Officer whose postings included East Germany, France, Norway, the Soviet Union, Sweden, and the former Soviet Republic of Georgia. He also participated in the opening of new U.S. embassies in Mongolia and Estonia, worked on the Foreign Relations Committees of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives, and served as director for NATO and European Affairs at the Atlantic Council of the United States in Washington, D.C.
A panel on the Global Implications for Human Trafficking, and the factors related to human trafficking and current European migration crisis (i.e., forced labor worldwide due to growing middle class and consumerism, migration across Mediterranean and into European Union), featured an address from Sarah E. Mendelson, Human Rights Initiative, Center for Strategic and International Studies.
The panel moderator was Rachel K. Paulose, a litigation partner at DLA Piper, and the only Twin Cities attorney with criminal and civil litigation and investigatory experience at the U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. During her tenure as U.S. Attorney for Minnesota, Paulose named prosecution of human trafficking a law enforcement priority for the first time in Minnesota and the District became the national leader in this civil rights initiative.
“Human trafficking remains a critical human rights issue, globally as well as in Minnesota,” Paulose said. “I am grateful to participate in the Minnesota International Center’s efforts to raise public awareness of the crime; its deleterious impact on our society; and ways in which government, corporations, and citizens may help us eradicate human trafficking.”
Minnesota’s action of trafficking, The Local Response, focused on recent federal legislation to combat trafficking; update on local success in raising awareness to human and sex trafficking, Safe Harbor regions, hotel training, increase in prosecuted cases in Ramsey County. The panel included
Nationally recognized for her groundbreaking research in the area of sex trading and sex trafficking prevention, Lauren Martin is the Director of Research at the Urban Research and Engagement-Outreach Center UROC), University of Minnesota. She spoke on Mapping the Market: Trafficked Minor Girls in Minneapolis, an overview of a first-of-its-kind study to examine the overall market structure of juvenile sex trafficking as it functions within one city.
Martin oversees UROC’s scholarly research projects and grant operations. She is also a researcher with the University’s Children, Youth and Family Consortium and Center for Early Education and Development and an instructor at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs.
Dr. Sarah E. Mendelson, Senior Adviser and Codirector, of the Human Rights Initiative at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, works within the Washington community to broaden and expand constituencies for justice, while engaging 21st century opportunities and challenges for grounding human rights principles around the world. Her team aims to address a range of issues including growing new voices for human rights, the global transparency and accountability movement and its ties to human rights, and transitional justice.
Mendelson researched the links between trafficking in humans and peacekeeping operations and helped shape the NATO trafficking policy adopted in 2004 and the U.S. Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2005.
Other speakers included attorney Robin Phillips, executive director, The Advocates for Human Rights, who has written about human rights, including trafficking in women, employment discrimination, sexual harassment, and domestic violence. Phillips has led delegations to Ghana and Liberia as part of The Advocates’ work with Liberia’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission, and conducted fact-finding missions to document human rights violations in Central and Eastern Europe, the former Soviet Union, Nepal, and Mexico.
Minnesota State Rep. Dave Pinto (64B), a prosecutor for the Ramsey County Attorney’s Office, prosecuted domestic violence involving children, and now focuses on juvenile sex trafficking.
John Rash, who writes the Rash Report column, which explores the intersection of media, culture, society, and politics. He is an editorial writer and a member of the Minneapolis Star Tribune’s Editorial Board.
Brenda Schultz, director of Responsible Business, with Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group, who is responsible for social, ethical, and environmental responsibility for a portfolio of 650 hotels in the Americas. Her duties include hotel training, communications, environmental measurements, and support for anti-human trafficking initiatives and World Childhood Foundation.