CSU, Chico News

Student-run Conference to Focus on Human Trafficking

Date: 03-30-2016

Sarah Langford
Public Affairs

Students in California State University, Chico’s activist club Stop Trafficking of Persons (STOP) will host the fifth annual human trafficking awareness conference with events planned for Monday and Tuesday, April 11 and 12, from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. in the Bell Memorial Union Auditorium.

On April 11, trafficking survivor Stacey Jewell Lewis will perform her play “7 Layers Captive,” which was recently performed at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. and depicts the psychological hold traffickers often have over their victims.

On April 12, the organization will offer a training to help campus and community members recognize and respond to human trafficking activities and support local law enforcement in their efforts. The training will be led by Carissa Phelps, child-trafficking survivor and author of “Runaway Girl: Escaping Life on the Streets.”

Both events are free and open to the public.

According to the Polaris Project, an organization working to end trafficking, in 2010 an estimated 27 million people were enslaved across the world, and the trafficking industry profited nearly $32 billion annually. Eighty percent of transnational victims were women and girls; 2 million children each year were exploited by the global commercial sex trade.

Each spring, STOP puts on what members believe to be the largest student-run human trafficking awareness conference in the nation. Throughout the year, club members educate and inform students at their weekly meetings, helping them find ways to make a difference.

“The club works hard every year to put on this conference in order to attract students and the community so we can stop ignoring the issue and start combatting modern-day slavery within our own community,” said STOP President Nicte Hernandez. “There are more slaves in the world today than there have ever been, even when including slavery that was once legal. It is time to start combatting this $32 billion industry and help give a voice to the voiceless.”

To learn more about the conference or STOP, visit www.csuchico.edu/stop. People who require an accommodation in order to participate in any of these events or who have questions about accessibility should contact the Accessibility Resource Center at 530-898-5959.