By: Sara Nassof
During this first session, the participants addressed ideas and innovations for continuing forward in the fight against human trafficking. Participants split into different groups to discuss various topics covered during the day. Some of the topics included: reforming law enforcement certifications, making changes to immigration policies, ending the demand for trafficking, organizing the community and lawyers, providing criminal restitution and immunity, and collaborating among organizations. After the small group discussions, all participants returned to the larger group to report back on ideas and highlights.
There were a number of common themes discussed in the breakout sessions, including the need for education, collaboration, creative approaches, and analysis. Some of the ideas highlighted were:
(1) Providing resources to grassroots organizations: Grassroots organizations are in need of funding and resources for sustainability. These organizations need to network within the community and come together to fight against human trafficking.
(2) Identifying rhetoric versus reality: targeting how the media feeds the rhetoric about trafficking.
(3) Preventing marginalization of different groups and institutions.
(4) Partnering: Also, providing a balance between private law and pro bono work.
(5) Identifying harmful immigration policies that influence and permit trafficking.
(6) Ending the practice of criminalizing victims of trafficking.
(7) Thinking “outside the box”/interdisciplinary approaches.
(8) Identifying the underlying problems and root causes.
Two articles featuring specific topics discussed during these break-out sessions will be posted later this week.