UVU Symposium To Raise Awareness Of Human Trafficking In The U.S.
November 14, 2013
For Immediate Release
University Marketing & Communications: Whitney Wilkinson
Written by: Heather Wrigley
On Nov. 25, in collaboration with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, Utah Valley University will hold a Symposium on Slavery and Sexual Exploitation, designed to raise awareness of the incidence and causes of human trafficking in the United States. All are invited to attend this free event.
The symposium will begin at 9 a.m. and run until 6 p.m., featuring an impressive lineup of speakers and ending with a screening of the documentary “The Playground.”
“This will be an engaging and educational event, one that I think UVU students, faculty and community members would benefit from by discussing the issues and increasing their awareness of a very real problem, the scope of which is not realized or understood among our communities,” said Susanna Garcia, executive program coordinator at UVU’s Center for the Study of Ethics.
H.E. Valentin Rybakov, deputy foreign minister of the Republic of Belarus, will offer the opening keynote at 10 a.m. In October 2012, Rybakov held a briefing with several international organizations and NGOs, including the U.S.’s Tronie Foundation, an organization dedicated to ending slavery and human trafficking, to detail Belarus’s plans to intensify international cooperation in combating human trafficking and to provide meaningful assistance to trafficking victims.
Other speakers include Matthew Mason, a national board member for Historians Against Slavery from BYU, and Celeste Lojik and Tcholpon Akmatalieva, both experts in human trafficking and sexual exploitation, from UVU’s History & Political Science Department. Mason’s address will be entitled, “Compassion Fatigue and Mobilizing the Public to Fight Slavery, Then and Now” and will begin at 9 a.m. Lojik will discuss the demographics of human trafficking in America and how it is occurring. Akmatalieva will present on “The Factors of Bride Kidnapping in Central Asia.”
Individual presentations will be followed by a panel discussion featuring all four speakers. Jini L. Roby, a teacher at BYU’s School of Social Work who is considered one of the foremost authorities on children issues, will moderate. The symposium will end with a screening of “The Playground” from 4:15 to 6 p.m.
UVU International Affairs & Diplomacy, UVU Peace and Justice Studies and the university’s Center for the Study of Ethics are cosponsors of the event. For more information about the symposium, please visit uvu.edu/sei/events.