Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Human Trafficking to be Discussed March 6

AUGUSTA, GA (Jennifer Hilliard Scott) – Georgia Regents University is hosting two presentations next month with internationally known experts in the fight against human trafficking.
Drs. Gloria Halverson and Clydette Powell will discuss “Human Trafficking: Hidden in Plain Sight” from 10-11:15 a.m. Thursday, March 6, in the Jaguar Student Activities Center Ballroom on the Summerville Campus. Student and faculty breakout discussions will follow from 11:15-11:45 a.m.

Halverson and Powell will also speak with employees of Georgia Regents Health System about “Human Trafficking: The Role of the Health Professional” from 7:30-8:30 a.m. Wednesday, March 5 in the Sappington Conference Center, Room 4010, Faculty Office Building, Health Sciences Campus.

Halverson is an obstetrician and gynecologist who recently retired to focus exclusively on her global humanitarian efforts. She serves as a member of the Christian Medical and Dental Association’s Board of Trustees and Human Trafficking commission.

Powell, a child neurologist and public health specialist, is Associate Professor of Pediatrics at The George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences.  She also serves as Medical Officer in the Bureau for Global Health at the U.S. Agency for International Development in Washington, D.C., where, among other responsibilities, she is the point of contact for health and human trafficking.  She received the Woodrow Wilson Award for Distinguished Government Service in 2010.

She is a member of the Expert Group on Health within the International Organization for Migration, which developed a manual “Caring for Trafficked Persons: Guidance for Health Providers.” The manual has been translated into several languages and has an accompanying workbook used to train health care workers worldwide.

Both Powell and Halverson were members of a CMDA task force that developed an online curriculum to help health care providers recognize the signs of human trafficking.

Human trafficking, often called modern-day slavery, describes many forms of exploitation of human beings. Crimes focus on the act of compelling or coercing a person's labor, services, or commercial sex acts. Contrary to some misconceptions, human trafficking crimes do not require any smuggling or movement of the victim. While undocumented migrants can be particularly vulnerable to coercion because of their fear of authorities, traffickers have demonstrated their ability to exploit other vulnerable populations and just as aggressively have preyed on documented guest workers and U.S. citizen children, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.

It is estimated that between 14,500 and 17,500 people are trafficked into the United States each year – 50 percent of them are children. An estimated 800,000 people are trafficked worldwide each year.

The panel discussion is sponsored by the Medical College of Georgia Department of Family Medicine, the GRU Women’s Studies Program, and the Departments of Psychology, Sociology, Communications and Professional Writing, Political Science, and Educational Leadership, Counseling and Special Education.

The Wednesday morning presentation to GRHealth employees, sponsored by Family Medicine, is limited to 60 participants, but will be live streamed for those who cannot attend.

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