Human trafficking conference opens today

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UNL hosts the third annual Interdisciplinary Conference on Human Trafficking Sept. 29 to Oct. 1, at the Cornhusker Marriott Hotel, 333 S. 13 St., in Lincoln.

The conference format follows traditional academic paper-presentation lines. Academic experts, and those working anti-trafficking efforts through nongovernmental organizations including law enforcement and social service agencies, will present more than 40 international research presentations to the participants at the conference.

The documentary “Sex and Money: A National Search for Human Worth” will be shown for free at the Nebraska Union Sept. 29 at 7:30 p.m., followed with by a question and answer session. The panel includes Morgan Perry, the movie’s producer; John Focht, a private detective; Amy Miller, Legal Director of Nebraska ACLU; and Anna Brewer, an FBI Special Agent. The panel will be moderated by Anna W. Shavers, professor citizenship law, at the UNL College of Law. This event is hosted by Nebraska University Students Against Modern-day Slavery, a UNL student group that has been in the forefront of bringing awareness to the issue of human trafficking.

Siddharth Kara, the author of “Sex Trafficking: Inside the Business of Modern Slavery,” will deliver the conference’s keynote address. Kara is a co-winner of the 2010 Frederick Douglass Award at Yale University for the best non-fiction book on slavery. Traveling around the world, Kara has interviewed more than 1,000 former and current slaves, witnessing and confronting trafficking firsthand. He now advises governments around the world on antislavery research, policy and law. Those interested in attending the keynote or the conference can register at

More than 40 international research presentations are scheduled during concurrent sessions of academic research and professional work that will run Friday through Saturday. Lunch and dinner will be provided to provide networking opportunities for conference participants. A panel of local experts will discuss human trafficking in Nebraska during individual presentations.

— Sriyani Tidball, Journalism and Mass Communications

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