Sunday, November 29, 2015

AGI-Rome Students Publish on Anti-Human Trafficking

On December 2015, the International Journal of Sustainable Human Security (IJSHS), a peer-reviewed publication of the World Engagement Institute (WEI), published a special issue on Anti-Human Trafficking and Human Security. This special issue of the International Journal of Sustainable Human Security (IJSHS) aims to identify the connections between human trafficking and anti-human trafficking with sustainable and institutional solutions linked to the comprehensive framework of human security. Some of the AGI-Rome 2015 students submitted their paper that were accepted for the publication in the online issue. Under the editorial direction of Prof. Marco Tavanti, the special issue aims at considering practical and theoretical aspect of anti-human trafficking in relation to human security. During the past 20 years, human trafficking has been traditionally studied by various disciplines such as criminal law, human rights, international studies, gender justice and other social sciences. Yet, the complexity of the phenomenon requires a more comprehensive approach through multidisciplinary perspectives and multi-sector solutions. Human trafficking is more than a criminal activity. It is a practice often legitimized by a lack of awareness, socio-cultural norms, and lucrative-exploitative economic transactions. Anti-human trafficking solutions require systemic and structural factors linked to poverty, globalization, political and institutional capacity to protect victims and punish perpetrators. The sustainable human security comprehensive framework provides the necessary framework to study the structural causes of human trafficking while highlighting effective, innovative, and sustainable solutions to the fight against modern human slavery. 

These are the titles and abstracts of the three AGI-Rome students:

"Partnership and the 3Ps of Human Trafficking: How Multi-Sector Collaboration Contributes to Effective Anti-Trafficking Measures." - Kelly Ann Yeo-Oxenham & Dylan Rose Schneider
This paper reviews the relevance of partnership in the anti-human trafficking globally adopted 3P strategy of prevention, protection and persecution. It proposes concrete recommendations for implementing cross-sector partnerships as a more effective response and holistic strategy to the challenges of modern day slavery. The fourth “P”, Partnership, was added to the widely practiced “3Ps” paradigm of human trafficking by former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton in 2009 in the attempt of promoting anti human trafficking solutions through pooled resources and collaborative strategies.

"Combating Human Trafficking Through Increased Awareness." - Zane Jacobs
This paper explores the role of awareness in anti-human trafficking. It argues that due to the lack of awareness, human trafficking has been allowed to flourish in many communities, operating in the shadows. Increasing awareness amongst victims and their surrounding communities will shed light on this atrocity and limit trafficker’s ability to function in secrecy. Awareness, in the case of trafficking victims, is the opposite of vulnerability. Awareness provides protection from traffickers by providing potential victims with the information necessary to recognize their options, and make informed decisions.

The IJSHS also included an article of Risa Harrison, a Master of Nonprofit Administration (MNA) who conducted a study on international adoption procedures and offered recommendations for avoiding human trafficking violations.

"An Examination of Trafficking Loopholes in International Adoption: Recommendations for Trafficking Avoidance." - Risa Harrison
The Hague Convention outlines an international agreement to ensure that intercountry adoptions happen in the best interest of the child. Much controversy exists around international adoption because some children have been trafficked into loving homes in a corrupt adoption process. While it is a child’s human right to be raised in a loving home, it is required that a child is not trafficked into such an environment. This paper looks at areas where loopholes can be found in the Hague convention such that a child can still be trafficked through a corrupt adoption even between Convention signing countries. It shows how international adoption and trafficking should differ, and will suggest ways adopting NGOs and Central Authorities can ensure that they are only facilitating adoptions for children in need of families, devoid of corruption, and can therefore avoid unknowingly trafficking children. This paper makes systemic and systematic recommendations to help ensure human rights and increase human security.

Read more on the IJSHS-AHT issue at

USF For Freedom Symposium: Understading Refugee Accompaniment and Tackleing Human Trafficking

On May 30, the University of San Francisco’s USF for Freedom Symposium highlighted important issues surrounding human trafficking, including modern day slavery and forced migration.
“People think of slavery and human trafficking as a problem of the past, or at least far removed from the Western world. But it’s neither. Did you know that the Bay Area is in the top 13 locations in the U.S. for most child sex trafficking?” said Minouche Kandel, Women’s Policy Director at the San Francisco Department on the Status of Women and member of the SF Mayor’s Taskforce on Anti-Human Trafficking, during her keynote speech.
“There were at least 1300 Bay Area sex trafficking victims in 2012,” she said, “and we don’t even know the true extent of the problem because by definition this is a hidden problem.”
Dr. Marco Tavanti, Director of USF’s Master of Nonprofit Administration program and co-founder of the World Engagement Institute and his students organized the event.
Tavanti’s students’ learned about modern day slavery and forced migration from representatives of the Jesuit Refugee Service, a worldwide Jesuit organization that provides aid to refugees and other forcibly displaced persons during an Academic Global Immersion trip to Rome this past January.
After coming back from Italy, the students said, wouldn’t it be great to have a conference with Bay Area nonprofits and other organizations that promote the human dignity of victims of forced migration and slavery?,” Dr. Tavanti said. “They’ve been working on the symposium ever since, as yet another way to work with USF to change the world from here.
Keynote speaker Mitzi Schroeder, Director of Policy for the Jesuit Refugee Service, spoke about the Jesuit practice of accompanying refugees, listening to their needs and advocating for them. “A listening ear and an education is the only thing you can give a refugee that nobody can take away,” she said. “The average time a person spends as a refugee is 17 years. That’s a whole generation of refugee kids growing up in camps, outside of society, outside of their culture.”
According to the United Nations Refugee Agency, there are more than 51 million forcibly displaced people in the world today. By conservative UN estimates there are at least 21 million victims of human trafficking and slavery today.
“Why does our society produce so many victims?” asked USF President Fr. Paul Fitzgerald at the symposium. “How do we change our system so that it won’t?”
This is a question USF School of Management Professor David Batstone has been trying to answer for years. After accidentally finding out that there were victims of forced labor working at his favorite Indian restaurant in San Francisco, Dr. Batstone co-founded Not For Sale in 2006 and authored a book by the same name.
“This is a global, international crisis that reaches all the way to your local community,” Dr. Batstone said. “It’s evil, and I don’t use that word lightly. To take away someone’s freedom and dignity is evil.”
So what can be done to battle human trafficking?
Organizations like those present at the symposium are working hard to change the necessary local government policies. One example is underage prostitution victims, who shouldn’t be funneled into the delinquency system for prostitution’s illegality but rather need to be seen as victims and transferred over to Child Protective Services. “We’ve all heard the phrase child prostitute,” Kandel said. “But of course there’s no such thing. If a child is being prostituted, it’s slavery.”
Individuals can report suspicious activity to the National Human Trafficking Hotline (1-888-3737-888) or the San Francisco Police Department Tipline (415-643-6233).
People can educate themselves on modern slavery in the consumerism supply chain through websites such as Free2Work and Know the Chain.
“It’s important that we work from a mentality of empowerment rather than rescue,” said co-founder of Not For Sale and USF alumnus Mark Wexler. Not For Sale runs a program in the Bay Area called Reinvent that provides trafficking victims with education, counseling and jobs.
The USF For Freedom Symposium tackled such an important topic, that organizers are already thinking about next year.
“We will further connect USF with community organizations, nonprofits and social enterprises,” Dr. Tavanti said. “Modern day slavery is a complex phenomenon that requires coordinated effort to prevent, including protection of victims, prosecution of criminals, and establishing effective partnerships across sectors and agencies. As a university, we can play a crucial role in providing the space for awareness, sharing best practices and promoting social and global engagement.”
Want to know more about fighting human trafficking? Measure your slavery footprint. Donate your time or money to local anti-trafficking organizations. Sign up for the national Polaris Project and Stop Trafficking newsletters. Learn about the San Francisco Mayor’s Task Force on Anti-Human Trafficking. Check out our USF4Freedom website’s extensive learning resources.

Story from USF-SOM Marketing at
Read more on the USF4Freedom here    

Academic Global Immersion in Rome 2015

Students from the Master of Nonprofit and Public Administration program at the University of San Francisco (USF) traveled to Rome over the winter break as part of the inaugural Academic Global Immersion (AGI) program in January 2015. The week-long course, International Jesuit Models of Refugee Service Management, aims to explore non-government sector practices outside of the U.S. and compare effective administrative strategies for forced migrations around the world.

USF Professor Marco Tavanti collaborated with the Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) to design the course that helps students recognize how human dignity and social justice paradigms play a key role in the leadership and management of projects for humanitarian assistance worldwide.

“I wanted to give our students the chance to reflect on emergencies related to forced migrations that are quite vivid and challenging even in our communities here in the U.S. and the Bay Area,” Tavanti said. “The value of these intensive immersion experiences is not only becoming informed and sensitive global citizens, but also providing adequate responses through our profession and location to these global challenges.”

To achieve these goals, Tavanti and the students were given the opportunity to work with The United Nations Office for Partnerships at the Food and Agricultural Organization (UN-FAO), The International Development Law Organization (IDLO) and JRS Italy represented by the Centro Astalli, Caritas (Catholic Charities) Rome.

Pope Francis, the first Jesuit Pope, who has made the issue of welcoming immigrants and avoiding abusive and inhumane situations like modern slavery a focal point of his papacy, also greeted students in St. Peter’s Square.

Elizabeth Ramos, Masters of Public Administration student ‘16, said she chose to participate in the program to gain a deeper understanding of her chosen field and further develop her education, but what the group came away with was a unified mission.

“My peers and I came to a similar conclusion that it is our responsibility to not only be compassionate and knowledgeable about refugee issues, but to also think critically and establish how as individuals, and within our networks, we can take this experience and ensure that it is sustained within our work moving forward,” she said.

The personal element of these larger issues was highlighted by the moving story of a young refugee from Afghanistan named Mohammed, who was a guest of Centro Astalli. His story of forced migration gave an intimate meaning to the policy discussions.

“I was especially impacted by Mohammed's testimonial. He shared his personal story of seeking refuge and it tied all the elements together for a deeper understanding of the issues and social pressures that both refugees and governments of sanctuary are currently facing,” Ramos said. “I am thankful for this individual’s story and his resilience despite his barriers. I can only imagine the children who are my neighbors that are currently in different stages of a similar journey.”

Now back at USF, the AGI participants plan to continue their experience by contributing to an upcoming symposium on Forced Migration at USF’s Downtown campus on May 30th, featuring the “accompaniment” values of JRS and the work of selected Bay Area non-profit and organizations engaged in these social challenges. Ramos and her cohorts will use this opportunity to demonstrate their commitment to the social issues they were exposed to in Rome. “I have found that to be a leader, businessperson and entrepreneur involves getting closest to the people that are closest to the issues at hand,” Ramos said. “Constant communication and understanding are essential to move forward.”

For more information about the Academic Global Immersion Program, click here.

Article by Sage Curtis; Photos by Michael De Leon.