Vanguard University’s Global Center for Women & Justice aims to protect children by educating adults on ways to prevent human sex trafficking – a modern-day form of slavery.
In commemoration of National Freedom Day, February 1st, Vanguard University announced it will host its annual Ensure Justice Conference on March 8-9, 2013. This year’s conference, called Cyber Exploitation, will address the use of Internet and social media as a means to exploiting elementary, middle and high school students who are at-risk for being recruited into commercial sexual exploitation (also known as human sex trafficking.)
Sgt. Craig Friesen of the Anaheim Police Department, who works in conjunction with the Orange County Human Trafficking Task Force (OCHTTF), told Vanguard students enrolled in a Human Trafficking class last week that he and his team have served more than 300 victims of human trafficking this past year, 40% of whom are under the age of 18. According to the OCHTTF, key indicators of human trafficking may include but are not limited to:
- General Indicators – Victims are not free to leave, and are being forced to perform labor/services
- Physical Indicators -Victims may have tattoos indicating someone else’s ownership or injuries/scars from abuse or assault
- Sex Industry/Brothels – This could be a massage parlor, other place of business, or a residence. There may be large amounts of cash and condoms on location; men come and go frequently and/or late at night.
“Laws such as California Proposition 35, the “California Against Sexual Exploitation Initiative” which passed on November 6, 2012 are not enough to adequately combat the increasing problem of human sex trafficking,” says Sandra Morgan, director of the Global Center for Women & Justice at Vanguard University. “Today marks exactly 148 years since Abraham Lincoln signed the resolution that would eventually abolish slavery, and yet there are still children and youth who live in slavery or involuntary servitude. As parents, teachers, children’s workers and pastors, it is our responsibility to educate ourselves on the techniques and strategies traffickers use to lure, trap and enslave children.”
Attendees will learn about the warning signs in identifying exploited children and the action steps necessary to reduce the risk of children vulnerable to predators. Experts in human trafficking will equip attendees with new, strategic perspective on online tactics used to manipulate and deceive children at home, in schools, and in churches.
Speakers include Ernie Allen, president and CEO of International Centre for missing & Exploited Children (ICMEC), Dr. Laura Lederer, president of Global Centurion and former senior advisor on human trafficking at the U.S. State Department, and Lisa Thompson, director, Initiative Against Sexual Trafficking for the Salvation Army. Last year’s Ensure Justice conference drew in over 350 attendees, including teachers, physicians, attorneys, stay-at-home mothers, and other business professionals.
Coast Magazine is one of the main media sponsors for this event.
For more information on how to register, please visit vanguard.edu/ensurejustice.