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Women’s Studies Program Presents Discussion on Illegal Trafficking of Women


Guest Speakers Discuss Actions That Can Help End Crisis

The Women’s Studies Program at the College of Mount Saint will be hosting their third panel discussion “The Traffic in Women.” This event will explore the truth behind the horrors of women being smuggled across borders, exploited, and forced into slavery. It will be headed by three keynote speakers; Jennifer Dreher of Safe Horizon’s Anti-trafficking program, Lakshmi Anantnarayan of Equality Now, and Sister Claire Regan from the Sisters of Charity. The event will be held on November 6 in the President’s Reception Room at 4:30 p.m. and open to the public.

According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, human trafficking is “the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harboring, or receipt of persons by means of coercion, abduction, fraud, deception or abuse of power of a position of vulnerability for the purpose of exploitation.” Each year, between 600,000-800,000 men, women, and children are trafficked across international borders. 80 percent of trafficking victims are female. They are smuggled in to work in low-wage industries or forced into sex rings.

The guest speakers from Safe Haven, Equality Now, and the Sisters of Charity will discuss why trafficking is a problem and what can be done to solve it. Operating a shelter for the victims, working legislative action, and creating more public awareness about trafficking are some of the things that can affect change.

“With Election Day coming up, and Veterans Day just behind it, Dr. Alumbaugh and I wanted to hold an event focusing on what it means to be an engaged citizen,” says Dr. Daniel Opler, co-head of the Women’s Studies program. “We thought having these speakers discuss how they combat trafficking would be a very important way to approach this discussion.”

The Women’s Studies Program was founded in 2007 by Dr. Alumbaugh and Dr. Opler. It consists of both a minor in women’s studies and a series of forums which tackle issues important to women. Their first forum held in November 2007, focused on the subject of women and religion. Their second forum held in April 2008, discussed the issue of women and immigration.

For more information about the event or the Women’s Studies Program, please contact Dr. Daniel Opler at 718-405-3235, or Dr. Heather Alumbaugh at 718-405-3275,