Saturday, February 2, 2013

8:00-9:00am                           Registration

9:00am-9:15am                      Welcome


9:15-11:00am“Framing for Fighting: A Migrant Justice Frame for Building Broad Consensus and Action Against Human Trafficking"

This panel will examine the definitions of human trafficking that have been proposed by government agencies, various documentaries and news specials, critically engaging discourses of human trafficking and calling attention to the different stakeholders. At the same time it will ask what laws offer the best hope for success.  How can reframing the problem as one of labor and migration offer more productive solutions that could empower workers?

Panelists include:

a.)    Ann Jordan, Director of Forced Labor and Trafficking in the Center on Human Rights and Humanitarian Law at American University’s Washington College of Law. (Washington, DC)

b.)    Anne Gallagher, Adviser on Trafficking to the UN High Commissioner for Human  

Rights. (Australia)

c.)    Kathleen Kim, Professor of Law, Loyola Marymount University.  Professor Kim has

litigated on behalf of trafficking survivors in the United States(Los Angeles, CA)

d.)    Martina Vandenberg, Fellow, Open Society Foundations (Washington  D.C.)

e.)    Mark Taylor, Senior Coordinator, Reports and Political Affairs, U.S. Department of State  (Washington D.C.)

Panel Moderator: Rhacel Parrenas 

11:00am -12:00pm                 KEYNOTE LECTURE


From repression to empowerment: is there a way back?

When the women’s movement fell back on the 19th century Victorian concept of “trafficking in women” to address abuses of migrant women in the sex industry, it unwittingly adopted not only a highly morally biased concept - dividing women into innocent victims in need of rescue and guilty ones who can be abused with impunity -, but also one with racist and nationalistic overtones.  Despite efforts to counter these flaws, this inheritance defines the debate on trafficking up till today, exemplified by the distinction in the UN Protocol between so-called “sexual exploitation” and “labour exploitation” and its emphasis on the recruitment process, as well by the range of repressive measures against migrants and sex workers in the name of combating trafficking. This focus on the purity and victimhood of women, coupled with the protection of national borders, not only impedes any serious effort to address the true human rights abuses we are confronted with, that is the exploitation of human beings under forced labour and slavery-like conditions, but actually causes harm to real people.  The call for a human rights-based approach does not solve these fundamental problems, as it tends to restrict itself to victims of the narrow concept of trafficking, while neglecting the protection of the human rights of sex workers and migrants. 

Marjan Wijers works as an independent researcher, consultant and trainer in the field of human rights, human trafficking, sex workers rights and women’s rights. She is also a partner in Rights4Change, a cooperative of four gender experts specialized in human rights impact assessment tools. From 2003 – 2007 she was President of the European Experts Group on Trafficking in Human Beings, established by the European Commission. Previously she worked at the Dutch Foundation against Trafficking in Women, the Clara Wichmann Institute, Dutch Expert Centre on Women & Law, the Verwey-Jonker Institute, Research into Social Issues, and was coordinator of a children’s hotline. At the Foundation against Trafficking in Women she was engaged in providing assistance to victims of trafficking, as well as in policy development, lobby and advocacy. Amongst others she was actively involved in the NGO lobby around the UN Trafficking Protocol and the development of human rights standards for the treatment of trafficked persons. She was one of the organizers of the first European sex workers conference in 2005 and is member of the board of the International Committee on Sex Workers Rights in Europe. Over the past years she published a range of articles on trafficking in persons, sex work and human rights. She studied social sciences and law and specialized in human rights law.

12:00-1:00pm                                     Lunch


“Empowering Migrants: Affecting Diverse Sectors of Trafficked Workers”

1:00-3:00pm             Vulnerable Workers: Domestic Workers and Farm Workers in the United States and Beyond

This panel focuses on the two largest groups of migrant workers: domestic workers and farm workers. Plagued by the absence of labor standards, these two groups of workers have been repeatedly identified as the most vulnerable to abuse. This panel will bridge discussions on “human trafficking” and “labor migration” by calling attention to the absence of labor rights for migrant worker populations.

Panelists include:

a)  Aquilina Soriano-Versoza, Director, Pilipino Worker’s Center of Los Angeles. (Los  

     Angeles, CA)

b)  Pardis Mahdavi, Associate Professor of Anthropology, Pomona College  

     (Claremont, CA)

c) Chancee Martorell, Founder and Executive Director of the Thai Community

     Development Center (Los Angeles, CA)

d)  Ruben Garcia, Professor of Law, University of Nevada, Las Vegas (LasVegas, NV)

e)  P. David Lopez, General Counsel of U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity

      Commission (Washington D.C.)

Panel Moderator: Juan de Lara

1:00-3:00pm        Migrant Children: Child Labor, Prostitution, and Trafficking

This panel will look at the case of migrant children, including domestic migrants who relocate to large cities, and addresses their vulnerability to forced labor and human trafficking. Panelists will describe the precariousness of child labor, the vulnerability to abuse of migrant children, and myths and facts concerning child prostitution.

Panelists include:

a)      Kay Buck, Director of Coalition Against Slavery and Trafficking, Los Angeles. (Los Angeles, CA)

b)      Noy Thrupkaew, Investigative Journalist (New York, NY)

c)      Emir Estrada, (Los Angeles, CA)

d)      Leyla Strotkamp, International Relations Officer at Office of Child Labor, Forced

Labor, and Human Trafficking, U.S. Department of Labor, (Washington, DC)

e)   Anthony Marcus, Associate Professor of Anthropology, John Jay School of

      Criminology (New York, NY)

Panel Moderator:        

1:00-3:00pm      Sex Workers: The Impact of Curb Campaigns

Sex trafficking, by definition in the U.S. Trafficking and Violence Protection Act, refers to “the recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision, or obtaining of a person for the purpose of a commercial sex act.” The reduction of prostitution to sex trafficking has split trafficking advocates with some arguing that curb demand campaigns actually hurt sex workers. This panel takes into account the two perspectives on this contentious issue.

Panelists include:

a)   Kari Lerum, Associate Professor of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences and Cultural   Studies, University of Washington, Bothell. (Seattle, WA)

b.)  Erin Kamler, PhD Student, USC Annenberg School. (Los Angeles, CA)

c.)  Aziza Ahmed, Assistant Professor of Law, Northeastern University. (Boston, MA)

d.)  Kimberly Hoang, Assistant Professor of Sociology, Boston College (Houston, TX)

e.)  Norma Jean  Almodovar, Director and Founder the International Sex Worker

      Foundation for Art, Culture and Education (Los Angeles, CA)

Panel moderator:  Sofia Gruskin           

3:00-3:15pm   Break


3:15-4:45pm    “Migrant Worker Empowerment: Alternative Solutions to Rescue

                            and Prosecution in Human Trafficking”

This panel poses the question, “How can we effectively combat the very real problem of trafficking?” To fight trafficking, the U.S. promotes a criminal prosecution model and accordingly only funds organizations that follow its universal templates of the 3Ps and 3Rs, meaning “protection, prevention and prosecution” and “rescue, rehabilitation, and reintegration.” Panelists will address alternative solutions to prosecution and pose strategies geared towards worker empowerment.

Panelists include:

a.)    Janie Chuang, Associate Professor, American University Washington School of Law. (Washington, DC)

b)   Dina Haynes, Professor of Law, New England College of Law. (Boston, MA)

c)   Orlando Patterson, John Cowles Professor of Sociology, Harvard University

       (Boston, MA)

d)   Kate Francis,  Associate Director, Women's Empowerment Program, The Asia

     Foundation (Washington D.C.)

Panel Moderator: Alice Echols