(Title cont. CONTESTING THE NORMS, REALITIES AND CHALLENGES OF HUMAN TRAFFICKING)
Human trafficking is a form of modern slavery— a multi-billion dollar criminal industry that denies freedom to 20.9 million people around the world. And no matter where one lives, it’s probably happening nearby. From the girl forced into prostitution at a truck stop, to the man discovered in a restaurant kitchen, stripped of his passport and held against his will. All trafficking victims share one essential experience: the loss of freedom. This session looks at efforts to educate about policy and practice in addressing human trafficking. Proper education can make a difference in countering misperceptions about prostitution and the culture of trafficking, in decriminalizing and treating victims, and in trafficking prevention. The presentations in this session will examine: the political complexities that cultural perceptions play in addressing human trafficking, the transformative experiences of graduate students taking a course on sex trafficking and servicing the community,the autoethnographic reflections of a teacher and graduate student who had a trafficked student in her class, the philosophies that inform “successful” survivor treatment models, and lastly, the collaborative process of creating a pedagogical model for teaching a course on Child Sex Trafficking that would potentially help decrease human trafficking, and sex trafficking in particular, locally. All panelists used a qualitative approach in data collection, which included extensive interviews with law enforcement, open-ended surveys for students who received presentations in the schools, open-ended surveys and interviews for faculty who received presentations in the schools, interviews on treatment models, and writing prompts from students who took the course on Child Sex Trafficking. The panelists discuss lessons learned and implications from their research, including ways to foster better practices among educators, and treatment staff that will hopefully lead to curtailing trafficking and “freeing” its victims.