FMHT: Disrupting the Human Trafficking-Migration Nexus

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  • Pardee School Professors Noora Lori and Kaija Schilde, FMHT Co-Directors, introduce the workshop.

  • The first panel of the workshop focused on technological solutions.

The Initiative on Forced Migration and Human Trafficking (FMHT), a research initiative at the Frederick S. Pardee School of Global Studies at Boston University, hosted a workshop on October 27-28, 2017 that examined the convergence of trafficking and migration, with a particular focus on innovation that disrupts exploitation markets of vulnerable and displaced refugees. 

You can watch the entire workshop here.

FMHT Co-Directors and Pardee School Professors Noora Lori and Kaija Schilde introduced the workshop, entitled “Disrupting the Human Trafficking – Migration Nexus,” and discussed recent projects by FMHT including the Urban Refuge app.

The first panel focused on technological solutions, and featured Hannah Thinyane, Principal Research Fellow at United Nations University Institute on Computing and Society; Peter Mansour, Software Engineer at Microsoft; Mike McCarter, Director of Online Operations at Microsoft; Wesley Wildman, Professor of Philosophy, Theology, and Ethics at the BU School of Theology; and Khatera Alizada, Postdoctoral Fellow at the Center for Mind and Culture in Boston. The panel was moderated by Ziba Cranmer, Director of BU Spark and Former Executive Director of Demand Abolition.

The second panel, also moderated by Cranmer, examined mobile app platforms and featured Roopshree Joshi, Program Coordinator at World Education Nepal; Thelma Don Gutierrez and Baala Arumugam, Founder and Software Engineer of the Libertas Project at Microsoft; Chancee Martorell Founder and Executive Director at the Thai Community Development Center; and Panida Rzonca  Directing Attorney at Thai Community Development Center.

Val Richey,  King County Senior Deputy Prosecuting Attorney – Special Assault Unit, capped off the first night of the workshop with a presentation on multi-sector approaches.

The second day of the workshop kicked off with a panel entitled “Public Opinion and The Media,” featured Beth Keeley, Chief of the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Human Trafficking Division; Milena Franke, a half-Armenian, half-Iraninan refugee living in Germany and UNICEF volunteer; Maurits van der Veen, Associate Professor of Government at the College of William and Mary; Phillip Martin, Senior Investigative Reporter for WGBH  focusing on human trafficking in Southern New England, race relations, and police brutality; and Yujin Park, MA Candidate in International Security, Sciences Po. The panel was moderated by Samantha Robertson, FMHT Graduate Co-Chair.

The workshop continued with a panel entitled “Policy Innovations: Health, Labor, Intervention,” featured Barbara Lochbihler, Member of the European Parliament and Vice-Chair of the Subcommittee on Human Rights; Mădălina Rogoz, Research Officer for the EU-funded DemandAT project at the International Centre for Migration Policy Development; Mary Stylidi, Regional Commissioner for Unaccompanied Minor Refugees (UNHCR) in Greece; Hanni Stoklosa, Executive Director of HEAL Trafficking and emergency physician at Brigham and Women’s Hospital; Christina Bain, Director of the Initiative on Human Trafficking and Modern Slavery at Babson College; and Olivier Peyroux, Sociologist and Expert on Migration and Trafficking in Persons. The panel was moderated by Lori.

The second day of the workshop continued with a keynote luncheon featuring Keeley, Lochbihler and Siobhan Mullally, President of GRETA, Council of Europe.

The third panel on October 28 focused on legal challenges and featured Jan van Dijk, Vice President of GRETA, Council of Europe and former Director of Research at the Dutch Ministry of Justice; Hernan del Valle, Head of Humanitarian Affairs and Advocacy at Médecins Sans Frontières; Amira Ahmed Mohamed, Carnegie-BCARS Scholar, former researcher for UNHCR, Red Cross ,and the Geneva Institute for Human Rights; and Julie Dahlstrom, Clinical Associate Professor and Director of the Immigrants’ Rights and Human Trafficking Program and Human Trafficking Clinic at the Boston University School of Law. The panel was moderated by Yoana Kuzmova, Clinical Instructor at the Boston University School of Law.

The workshop continued with a panel entitled “Human Trafficking-Migration Nexus: Future Research,” featuring Quinn Kepes, Program Director at Verité; Paul Clewett, Migration Analyst at Seefar Organization; Ruxandra Paul, Assistant Professor of Political Science at Amherst College; Jamils Richard Achunji Anguaseh, survivor and founder of The Global Welfare Association (GLOWA) in Cameroon; and Roxane Ouadghiri Hassani, Comité Contre l’Esclavage Moderne (CCEM) and MA Candidate, Sciences Po. THe panel was moderated by Lori.

A keynote discussion closed out the workshop with speakers including Mullally, Stylidi, van Dijk, Rogoz, del Valle, and Kepes. The discussion was moderated by Schilde.

A closing round-table reception dinner was held following the keynote discussion at 121 Bay State Road for participants.