Conference: "Enslaved: Human Trafficking in the 21st Century," March 16 and 17
“Enslaved: Human Trafficking in the 21st Century,” Features Keynote Speech by Christine Dolan, Panel Discussions, Workshops, and an Exhibition
ANNANDALE-ON-HUDSON,N.Y.—“Although this year marks the bicentennial of the end of the trans-Atlantic slave trade, the fact that there are forms of slavery in our world today should fill us all with shame,” Asha-Rose Migiro, United Nations deputy secretary-general, told international delegates on Monday, March 5, 2007, at the UN’s International Conference on Trafficking in Women and Girls, according to an Associated Press report. Data from the U.S. Government Trafficking in Persons Report shows that 600,000 to 800,000 men, women, and children are trafficked across international borders each year. Approximately 80 percent are women and girls, and up to 50 percent are minors.
To explore these issues, the Bard College chapter of Students Stopping the Trafficking of People(SSTOP)—a nationwide network of students seeking to bring attention to the issue of human trafficking—presents a two-day conference, “Enslaved: Human Trafficking in the 21st Century,” on Friday, March 16, and Saturday, March 17, at Bard. The keynote speaker is investigative journalist Christine Dolan. Other speakers include photographer Kay Chernush, Charles Walker, and Anna Paden and Becky Bavinger, two founders of the original SSTOP at Georgetown University. Bavinger is director of student programs at The Emancipation Network (TEN). In addition to panels and discussions, the conference includes film screenings, an exhibition of trafficking victims’ artwork, and a workshop as well as catered meals. All events are free and open to the public and take place in the Center for Film, Electronic Arts, and Music of the Milton and Sally Avery Arts Center.
Sarah Paden, founder of Bard’s SSTOP and a Trustee Leader-Scholar student, explained that this conference has been completely organized by student volunteers; hopes are that this will become an annual event. In addition to Bard students, representatives of other area colleges and the general public will be in attendance at the program. The goal of the conference is to bring attention to this important issue and provide ways in which attendees can become involved in the fight against human trafficking.
Keynote speaker Christine Dolan’s professional career has focused upon politics, Africa, war/conflicts, and human trafficking. She covered politics at ABC News and served as political director of Cable News Network. She was a consultant for NBC News in 1992 when TODAY broadcast from Africa. Dolan served as executive producer, managing editor, and coowner of an international policy series that was syndicated on PBS. She served as the spokesperson for the 1990 USA Nelson Mandela tour, and is a recognized National Geographic safari expert and African wildlife photographer. Dolan has written about Africa and human trafficking for various newspapers and magazines, such as the Washington Times and Insight magazine.
In 2000, the International Centre for Missing and Exploited Children commissioned Dolan to investigate the exploitation of children following the Balkan crises. Crisscrossing western and eastern Europe, traveling throughout the Balkans, and going undercover, she dined with mafia, hung out with traffickers, dressed up as a prostitute, walked the streets with transvestites, and interviewed trafficked victims in brothels and on the street. She released Shattered Innocence—The Millennium Holocaust at the National Press Club in May 2001. Her work has been endorsed by Interpol and other law enforcement agencies worldwide, the United Nations, diplomats, politicians, nongovernmental organizations, fellow journalists, and heads of state.
For the last five years, Dolan has lectured extensively throughout the United States and abroad on the global phenomenon of human trafficking on the street and over the Internet. She has spoken before university audiences, the World Affairs Council, the UN (in Geneva, Switzerland, and New York), and judicial audiences in France, Germany, and Italy, as well as the French National Assembly. In February 2007, she addressed the UN in New York for the second time during its Conference on the Status of Women.
Becky Bavinger, director of The Emancipation Network Students (TEN Students), received a degree in government honors and Russian language from Georgetown University. As a volunteer for Doctors of the World, she studied and worked in St. Petersburg, Russia, where she was exposed to a variety of children’s issues, such as the lack of health care and protection for street children and orphans. On her return to the United States, she served as an intern at the U.S. Fund for UNICEF office and cofounded Students Stopping the Trafficking of People (SSTOP) at Georgetown University. She has worked as a consultant at Vital Voices Global Partnership and as an intern for the Anti-Trafficking and Human Rights Program.
Kay Chernush is a nationally recognized photographer with 25 years of experience in commercial and fine art photography. A graduate of Sarah Lawrence College and recipient of a Fulbright grant to India, she became hooked on photography during an assignment for the Peace Corps in the Sahel region of Africa. Self-taught, she considers her career in photography “a process of learning how to see.” Chernush’s assignments and interests have taken her all over the world. She has lived in India, Spain, and France, and has photographed everything from ship-building in Maine to ship-breaking in Pakistan; chip-making at Intel to gem-mining in Sri Lanka; long-distance trucking in the Middle East and women’s development projects in Bangladesh, Kenya, and Sudan. She has photographed some 50 feature stories for Smithsonian Magazine and shoots for many other national and international publications and corporations. She is the official photographer for the United States Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons (G/TIP). Her images from India, Thailand, Italy, and Hong Kong may be seen on the website www.gtipphotos.state.gov/index.cfm.
Anna Paden graduated from Georgetown University with a bachelor of science degree in international health studies. At Georgetown, Paden was a cofounder of SSTOP; she appeared in a panel discussion at the UN Women’s Guild, speaking about SSTOP and human trafficking. In fall 2006, Paden helped develop a nonprofit organization for CDX Group and Max Frattodi, former head of counterintelligence for the FBI, which combats human trafficking through intelligence and police work. In late March she will be working for Maison de Naissance’s Healthy Mothers Healthy Babies program in Cayes, Haiti. She has held internships with Partnership for Supply Chain Management; Townsville Aboriginal and Islander Health Services, Townsville, Australia; Max Fratoddi’s Amber Alert Development Group; Christine Dolan’s Global Coalition to End Human Trafficking group; and the Archdiocesan Health Care Network of Catholic Charities.
Charles B. Walker, director of investigations at Restore International, based in San Diego, California, is a recognized expert with over 35 years’ experience investigating major frauds, money laundering, political corruption, human trafficking, and national security threats. Before joining Restore International, Walker was assistant federal security director for law enforcement at the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) in San Diego. He began his law enforcement career with the FBI in Los Angeles and San Diego, where he spent over 30 years conducting complex multijurisdictional investigations of fraud, political corruption, and money laundering. Walker is a frequent author and lecturer on investigative and ethics issues. He has been profiled in the San Diego Union-Tribune, Daily Transcript, San Diego Business Journal, and San Diego Magazine. Walker’s litigation support and forensic investigations make him a sought-after expert witness.
SSTOP is a student organization at Bard College that is part of a nationwide network of students dedicated to stopping human trafficking. Founded in January 2006 by a small group of Bard students, the purpose of SSTOP is to raise awareness about human trafficking, to coordinate efforts to end this modern day exploitation, and to support the victims of trafficking. This is the second SSTOP chapter in the country; the first was founded at Georgetown University in May 2005.
The Trustee Leader–Scholar Program provides opportunities for motivated students to develop their organizational and leadership skills through the design and implementation of service projects that promote energetic involvement in campus life and cultivate relationships between Bard College and its surrounding communities, local and international.
The Trustee Leader-Scholar Program, Office of Student Activities, and the Religious Studies and Sociology Programs have given support for the conference.
For further information about Bard’s SSTOP and the conference, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 423-605-7845.