West campus event focuses on human trafficking

<p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; “Prosecutions around the world against (human) traffickers are a joke.”<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; <em>Victor Malarek, Canadian journalist, author of “The Johns”</em><br />&nbsp;<br />Two prominent figures in the human trafficking movement will appear at Arizona State University’s West campus on April 16 to take part in a panel discussion to provide critical perspectives on the anti-human trafficking movement.</p><separator></separator><p>Bradley Myles of the Polaris Project in Washington, D.C., and Victor Malarek, an award-winning Canadian journalist and author a pair of well-read books on human trafficking, will lead “Critical Perspectives on Human Trafficking,” noon-2 p.m. in the University Center Building (UCB), La Sala A.</p><separator></separator><p>The event is presented by the Master’s in Social Justice and Human Rights degree program in the New College of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences.</p><separator></separator><p>“This event addresses a global human rights crisis that receives considerable press but is still largely misunderstood,” says Michael Stancliff, a New College assistant professor in the Division of Humanities, Arts and Cultural Studies, who will serve as moderator during the event. &nbsp;“Rather than recycling headlines, this will be an action-oriented discussion led by dedicated experts and scholars who have gathered to provide critical perspectives on a situation that demands our attention.”</p><separator></separator><p>Myles is the acting executive director of the Polaris Project, one of the largest anti-trafficking organizations in the U.S. and Japan.&nbsp; Responsible for overseeing programmatic, financial and operational areas of Polaris, Myles has provided consultation, training and technical assistance on anti-trafficking strategies to hundreds of audiences.&nbsp; He has also trolled the grimy streets of the nation’s capitol city where he has met modern-day slaves who have been trapped into working as a prostitute or nanny, a farm laborer or factory worker – slaves working in bondage, intimidated to the point they are fearful of violence and afraid to find a way out.</p><separator></separator><p>“The human trafficking crisis is extremely urgent, but we are still far from solutions,” says Doruntine Kosumi, a first-year student in the social justice and human rights graduate program, who plans an eventual career in the field of human rights.&nbsp; “Even if human trafficking makes headlines, we are not facing the root problems, and the victims seem to fall between the cracks of existing laws and international frameworks.”</p><separator></separator><p>Those laws and frameworks, according to Malarek, are rarely effective or enforced.&nbsp; The author of “The Johns: Sex for Sales and the Men who Buy it” (2009, Arcade Publishing) and “The Natashas: Inside the Global Sex Trade” (2003, Viking Canada), Malarek says the number of victims continues to climb while agencies “fiddle and faddle” with trafficking definitions.</p><separator></separator><p>“You can pass all the laws you want,” he told PBS’ Frontline recently.&nbsp; “If you don’t enforce a law, what’s the point of the law?&nbsp; If you say you’re going to get upwards of 20 years and you get a community work service order, what kind of message does that send to the criminal?&nbsp; What kind of message does that send to the young woman who says, ‘I’ve just taken a risk with my life to testify against this criminal.’?</p><separator></separator><p>“We have laws in every country that say you can’t abduct people, you can’t kidnap, you can’t force them into prostitution, you can’t assault them – all kinds of laws that if you would enforce them, it would stop this kind of stuff.”</p><separator></separator><p>For Kosumi, the April 16 event is another testimony to the strength of the second-year social justice and human rights program.&nbsp; A political science graduate of the University of Arizona, she minored in Italian studies and spent a year cracking the books in Orvieto, Italy.</p><separator></separator><p>“I chose to come to New College because the MA in social justice and human rights program is such an amazing program, and it is interdisciplinary at heart,” she says.&nbsp; “It provides students with the complete means necessary to bring social change, including events such as this one where you have respected, renowned experts on hand to address human rights issues.</p><separator></separator><p>“This degree program is extremely well-rounded, and the academic training and community embeddedness work allows for students to enter different fields, ready to tackle almost any issue.”</p><separator></separator><p>Following Myles’ and Malarek’s presentation, the two will be joined by representatives from different community organizations and students from the social justice and human rights program in a panel discussion.</p><separator></separator><p>For more information on the event, email Kosumi at dkosumi@asu.edu.&nbsp; To RSVP, visit <a href="http://humantrafficking.eventbrite.com">http://humantrafficking.eventbr…’s West campus is located at 4701 West Thunderbird Road in Phoenix.</p>