UT hosts conference on human trafficking

September 27, 2017

On Friday Sept. 22, UT hosted the Human Trafficking Conference. This conference was a series of stories and lectures with the purpose of educating people on the topic of human trafficking.


Rachel Watton, the author of a short documentary called “The Scarlet Road,” gave a lecture and informed the crowd of the harsh realities that the world holds.


"UN estimates over 25 million people are victims of human trafficking worldwide. [Human trafficking] is also the second most profitable activity in the world for organized crime,” Watton said. “Toledo has the second highest recruitment rate in the United States, and it is the third largest city for human trafficking.”


Diane Massey, an audience member, said that Toledo has fallen since her youth.


“I’m a 56-year-old woman, and hearing things like this makes you ashamed to be part of a place that does nothing about statistics like this,” Massey said. “I’m hoping that with the knowledge that people have learned here today, they will be proactive in their own communities and will make an effort to make a change.”


Massey said the solution is to have a special police task force that deals with organized crime and human trafficking.


“The change won’t be immediate. But if we as a society stop objectifying women and start listening to what they have to say, instead of finding fault in something they’ve done, then we can truly start to move in the right direction toward a community that does not tolerate things like this,” Massey said.


A seminar called “Predator Prostitute” showed a documentary with same name about Charlene Warner, the first female serial killer who allegedly killed because she was raped by men while working as a prostitute.


The movie “Monster” is based on this woman and her story. Juniper Fleming, writer and director of the documentary “Predator Prostitute,” concentrated on this story and discussed the injustices from her situation.


“News media objectify women and blame them for what they wear,” Fleming said. “Prostitution is wrong, and illegal in most places. But it does not give someone the right to violate them in ways that they are not prepared for.”


Ta’jane Williams, an audience member, called another question into group discussion that intrigued everyone in the room.


"The question is, is it okay to kill if the alternative is rape?” Williams said.

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