Categories for Education Tools

Mayo Medical Student Jump-Starts School Curriculum To Identify Victims Of Human Trafficking

March 12, 2020

PHOENIX — Human trafficking is a growing international public health concern. An estimated 400,000 people in the U.S. are affected, with as many as 88% of victims having seen a health care professional while they were being trafficked.

As human trafficking evolves as a health concern, medical schools are starting to include the topic in education. However, it’s still in the early stages, says a Mayo Clinic study in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine. The research was led by third-year medical student at Mayo Clinic Alix School of Medicine, Jennifer Talbott, who suggested that human trafficking training be included in the curriculum at the school.

Working with the medical school faculty, Talbott helped develop coursework to train fellow students to identify and provide resources to potential victims of human trafficking. Talbott’s adviser, Juliana Kling, M.D., a Mayo Clinic women’s health internist, says training in identifying and providing resources to human trafficking victims is essential for medical school students.

“If we aren’t trained to identify that they are victims, then they will continue being trafficked,” says Dr. Kling, who is co-medical director of the Student Community Clinic at Mayo Clinic in Arizona. This clinic teaches the social determinants of health in a clinical setting to second-year medical students.

Many organizations have called for medical schools to train students to recognize the signs of trafficking and care for these patients. However, few standardized training resources are available, according to Talbott’s study. So far, only four medical schools have published about their curricula specific to training on human trafficking.

The study points out that a robust educational curriculum “has the potential to close remaining educational gaps, allowing improved identification and treatment of those suffering from sex trafficking.”

To read the full article by Michael Clayton on The Mayo Clinic: Click Here

Men Against Human Trafficking

February 10, 2020

Human trafficking isn’t just a Milwaukee problem, it’s a global issue. The Polaris Project reported that in 2016, 40.3 million people were victims of human trafficking throughout the world. The Medical College of Wisconsin found that 340 individuals were believed to be victims of sex trafficking in Milwaukee between 2013 to 2016.

When a person is trafficked, they may be trapped in forced labor, forced to perform sexual acts and more. According to the Polaris Project, 25 percent of victims are children and 75 percent are women and girls. While men aren’t often the targets of human trafficking, one group is taking a stand against it.

The Convergence Resource Center, a faith-based nonprofit organization, offers support to men and women who have experienced trauma. The goal is to help them rebuild their lives and there’s a specific focus on helping women and female survivors of human trafficking.

As part of its efforts, the Convergence Resource Center created HEMAD or Human trafficking Educators working with Men and boys to stand Against the Demand. The campaign is specifically aimed at men with the intention being that men sign up to take the pledge against human trafficking.

According to the press release, last year 3,000 men took the pledge and this year its goal is 6,000.

“We’ve had men from throughout Wisconsin, the Midwest and as far away as Florida take the pledge,” said Debbie Lassiter, executive director of Convergence Resource Center.

To read the full article by Ana Martinez-Ortiz on The Milwaukee Courier: Click Here

No More Chains: Anti-Slavery Campaigns Urged To Stop Relying On Shock Images

January 27, 2020

Dec 2 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – From chains to scarred backs, sensationalised images used to raise awareness of modern slavery risk doing more harm than good because they misrepresent the problem, researchers said on Monday.

In fact, most modern slavery networks rely more on psychological methods of coercion than on physical violence or restraint, according to a study by the University of Nottingham’s Rights Lab, which researches the global problem.

Such images also risk retraumatising survivors, said the study, released on the International Day for the Abolition of Slavery on Monday.

Author Emily Brady said misrepresentations of modern slavery hampered efforts to educate the public on what to look out for.

“All they will be seeing are victims who are physically restrained or hunched over a bed or table, often holding their face in their hands to signify distress,” said Brady, a research associate with the Rights Lab.

“Over time these images can also make people less sensitive to the harm endured by enslaved people because they become the new norm,” she added, calling for survivors to be more involved in selecting images to avoid potentially harmful stereotypes.

The study, Photographing Modern Slavery, looked at common themes in images of modern slavery used in government and charity reports. Some, including the Walk Free Foundation – the Australia-based group behind the Global Slavery Index – were noted for their use of positive images.

To read the full article by Molly Milllar on Thomas Reuters Foundation News: Click Here

July, 2019 Monthly Reflection

July 1, 2019

New Resources Available From IJPC and FADICA

by Sally Duffy, SC

The deeper and thicker the mud, the more beautiful the lotus flower. The cover of the Intercommunity Justice and Peace Center’s (IJPC) new Anti-Human Trafficking Toolkit is a lotus flower.

IJPC is located in Cincinnati, Ohio and the founding sponsors were five women religious congregations. IJPC’s vision is a just and peaceful world and is now sponsored by eighteen interfaith organizations, including six congregations of women religious. IJPC’s key strategies for achieving their vision is partnering to work for structures that are inclusive and equitable, intentionally collaborating for systemic and structural change, and engaging in social analysis and action. IJPC’s website is

IJPC’s mission is to educate and advocate for peace, challenge unjust local, national and global systems, and promote the creation of a nonviolent society. IJPC is supported by faith-based organizations and individuals who work together to educate around justice issues, take collaborative action and do public witness. They address local, national and international concerns focusing on the death penalty, immigration, human trafficking and peace and nonviolence.

The Intercommunity Justice and Peace Center of Cincinnati recently announced two resources. The first is a Media Toolkit which will assist media with responsible reporting and covering a story on trafficking without being predatory or exploitative. This is an effort to avoid the dangers or re-victimization or re-traumatizing survivors.

“The cover image for the toolkits is a lotus flower. The lotus is a flower that grows in the mud. The deeper and thicker the mud, the more beautiful the lotus blooms.”

According to Samantha Searls, Program Manager for IJPC, the Media Toolkit was created to show the systemic complexity of human trafficking. This will help to shift the narrative from the stereotypical story of someone kidnapped, bound up, duct-taped mouth and chained, to a broader and more complex narrative of manipulation, coercion, bad relationships and often addiction. This more complex narrative will help victims see themselves and their experiences represented in the media, which may encourage them to ask for help.

This Media Toolkit will help journalists and reporters educate the public about all the complex ways human trafficking happens to individuals. The Media Toolkit also provides a guide on what not to say and what to say when reporting on trafficking stories. An example is to say “sex trafficker” rather than “pimp”. The reason is because the term sex trafficker “connotes the criminality and human rights abuses the person is engaging in and avoids some of the pop culture stereotypes of what a ‘pimp’ is.” Another term is saying “survivor” and not “slave;” as well as, saying “commercial sexual exploitation of children” rather than “child prostitution.” There are additional examples in the toolkit.

The second resource is an Anti-Human Trafficking Toolkit for the public. This resource provides an understanding of the who, what, where, why, when of human trafficking, and how to act to recognize human trafficking and to provide assistance; as well as additional Do’s and Don’ts.

Both resources are available at IJPC’s website:

Foundations and Donors Interested in Catholic Activities (FADICA) recently published a report called “Agents of Awakening: A Review of Anti-Human Trafficking Activities at U.S. Colleges and Universities.”The report was featured in the Spring 2019 CARA newsletter.

FADICA, through the leadership of their president, Alexia Kelley, was instrumental in helping to catalyze the first gathering of Sisters that led to the formation of U.S. Catholic Sisters Against Human Trafficking (USCSAHT).

The conclusion on page six of the report states: “Human trafficking is a global scourge that will not be easily eradicated. However, the impact of the numerous anti-trafficking activities at Catholic institutions and the programs featured in this report inspire hope for progress in the work to end human trafficking.” Some key findings of the report highlighted by CARA on page eight were that:

  • Of approximately 200 Catholic institutions surveyed, 102 colleges and universities are engaged in anti-trafficking activities;
  • Catholic campuses are vital incubators for survivor-based work;
  • Establishing and maintaining partnerships with other universities, organizations, local law enforcement agencies, and across departments is crucial for programs to continue their success.

This information would be a helpful resource in terms of increased collaboration with college students. A link to this FADICA Report is  USCSAHT is grateful to FADICA and their membership for sharing this resource.


Sally Duffy, SC, serves on the board of US Catholic Sisters Against Human Trafficking and previously served on the board of FADICA.

‘Hansel And Gretel’ Gets Modern Face In La Crosse Opera Production

March 7, 2019

Engelbert Humperdinck’s classic 1890s opera “Hansel and Gretel” has been a favorite at Viterbo University, coming to the stage there half a dozen times in the past 25 years. It’s a favorite for good reason, according to Stephanie Harter Campbell, who is directing this weekend’s production.

“It’s a really good choice for our students because it’s accessible and the music is so beautiful and fun,” Harter Campbell said.

“Hansel and Gretel” is based on the Brothers Grimm fairy tale about two somewhat strong-headed and rebellious young siblings who wander off into the haunted forest and are lured into the clutches of the Gingerbread Witch by her enticingly edible house.

But Harter Campbell, who directed the La Crosse Community Theatre’s production of “Mamma Mia,” wanted to try something different with this staging. As she contemplated setting the opera in the present, she asked herself what form the threat to Hansel and Gretel would take in 2019.

“What does a witch look like in 2019?” Harter Campbell wondered. “Who is eating up children and using them as a commodity?”

To read the full story by Randy Erickson on the La Crosse Tribune: Click Here

Human Trafficking ‘Hub’ Backpage Is Long Gone, But The Problem Still Remains

February 19, 2019

SALISBURY, Md. – Before Backpage was terminated, Cpl. Chris Heid could locate sex trafficking victims exclusively on the popular classified advertising website. 

Backpage was responsive to the Maryland State Police corporal’s requests for records and his agency’s warrants and subpoenas. When he asked the site to remove advertisements he determined were trafficking-related, moderators complied – sometimes within minutes. 

“I don’t agree with what they were doing, but they did cooperate with law enforcement,” Heid said of Backpage, which the National Association of Attorneys General called a “hub” of “human trafficking, especially the trafficking of minors.”

As criminals benefit from technology in communication, wide distribution and anonymity, law enforcement agencies find themselves using the same platforms to stop those illegal revenues and gather evidence. The shutdown had rippling effects on how law enforcement agencies combat trafficking.

Maryland State Police: Number of victim contacts was involved in nearly three-quarters of child-trafficking reports received by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children between 2013 and 2017. In 2017, the center responded to 10,000 reports of possible trafficking. When Backpage went dark, so too did access to countless posts that police used to identify and find victims. 

Anti-trafficking operations by Maryland State Police yielded three more arrests in 2018 (when Backpage was seized) than the year prior, but the number of victims police came in contact with dropped 38 percent, from 113 in 2017 to 70 last year.

Delaware didn’t pass legislation against sex trafficking until 2014, 14 years after it became a federal crime. Using findings from the Criminal Justice database, the Delaware Human Trafficking Interagency Coordinating Council reported that 13 human trafficking-related charges were made between 2012 and 2017.

To read the full story by Taylor Goebel on USA TODAY: Click Here