Lecturer talks human trafficking

By Joy Priest

Humans are increasingly becoming a major staple on the international market.

The illegal slavery of young women and underage girls as sexual commodities is becoming more profitable and more prevalent in the U.S.

Sarah Buel, director of the Diane Halle Center for Family Justice at Arizona State University’s College of Law, will visit UK’s campus on today to discuss this human trafficking issue in her lecture titled “A Global Crisis, A Global Response.”

Buel, a survivor herself and a nationally renowned expert on this illegal market, will specifically discuss the coercion and agency aspects of human trafficking.

“A Global Crisis, A Global Response” is part of the Spring 2011 Invited Lecture Series sponsored by UK’s Center for Research on Violence Against Women, the Department of Gender and Women’s Studies and the UK College of Law.

Carol Jordan, director of the Center for Research on Violence Against Women, said she invited Sarah Buel to speak on this issue because she is exceptionally skilled in the areas of legal matters and research and can address both sides in her lecture.

“I think (human trafficking) is an issue that is increasingly coming to the awareness of the law enforcement community and women’s advocates, as well as the research community and academia,” Jordan said. “There are complex legal and critical research issues that need to be addressed.”

Jordan said 100 people are expected at the event and the room will be filled with faculty, students and staff who have a research interest, in addition to attorneys who work with victims of human trafficking in Kentucky.

“We’re going to be talking about the plight of girls and women and the attention of the commonwealth, the academic and legal community, is much needed,” Jordan said.

Cristina Alcalde, assistant professor of Gender and Women’s Studies said she hopes that students, faculty and community members come away from the lecture feeling more knowledgeable and prepared to take action on this issue.

“Human trafficking affects every world region, including the U.S.,” Alcalde said. “It is also connected to other human rights issues, such as domestic violence, which takes place in every region. Kentucky, Lexington and this campus have a role to play in better understanding and preventing human trafficking.”

“Coercion and Agency in Human Trafficking” will be presented by Sarah Buel Wednesday from noon to 1:30 p.m. in the College of Law Building Courtroom.