Human Trafficking in Washington: From the Historic Mercer Maids to Sexual Exploitation in Internet Ads

This conversation, led by State Senator Jeanne Kohl-Welles, offers historical, cultural, socioeconomic and public policy perspectives on human trafficking. We will explore complex questions related to the ethics and public policy around this issue, past and present. We will face misbeliefs about human trafficking, confronting the facts that human trafficking does take place in Washington and that the U.S. is not just a destination country but also a source and transit country for trafficking. Finally, we will examine what is being done to intervene and prevent human trafficking, including new laws, innovative law enforcement approaches and actions being taken by human rights groups.

About Jeanne Kohl-Welles
Jeanne Kohl-Welles has been the primary and secondary sponsor of many anti-trafficking bills in the Washington State Senate, helping make us the lead state in the country in efforts to eliminate human trafficking. Kohl-Welles received Seattle Against Slavery’s 2010 Lincoln Freedom Award for her legislative efforts to combat human trafficking, including her sponsorship of one of the first bills on human trafficking enacted in the country. She has served in the Washington State Senate since 1994, following three years in the State House. Kohl-Welles serves on the University of Washington’s Human Trafficking Task Force as well as on the Washington State Arts Commission. She holds a doctorate in sociology of education from UCLA and has been an adjunct faculty member in the Gender, Women and Sexuality Studies department; Department of Sociology; and College of Education at the University of Washington since 1985.

Kohl-Welles currently lives in Seattle.

For more information on how to book a speaker, please contact Zaki Abdelhamid at (206) 682-1770 x102 or by email.

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