September 24, 2018
On September 20, 2018, the University of Maryland School of Social Work sponsored the 2nd annual Maryland Child Trafficking Conference: Breaking Down Barriers, Creating Change. This statewide public awareness conference seeks to mobilize communities and individuals through education on human trafficking. This year, the SAFE Center’s Deputy Director, Laura Ardito, and Director of Social Services, Heidi Alvarez, were selected to present on “Labor Trafficking and the Vulnerability of Immigrant Youth.” In their presentation, they clarified how labor trafficking differs from labor exploitation and then discussed the various types of labor trafficking, where it occurs, and the power and control tactics that traffickers use to force and coerce victims into trafficking situation. They focused especially on undocumented youth and their particular vulnerabilities to labor trafficking before addressing best practices for providing social and legal services to survivors of labor trafficking.
Later that week, the SAFE Center attended Unnoticed and Misunderstood: A Human Trafficking Education and Prevention Community Symposium. Hosted by Prince George’s County Department of Family Services, this symposium educated attendees on sex and labor trafficking through focused adult and youth breakout sessions. The Center’s licensed clinical social worker, Elisabet Martinez, and case manager Haley Hale presented during the adult breakout session and distributed SAFE Center outreach materials to the 220 registered attendees.