Conference Explores the Many Costs of Human Trafficking

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

St. John’s University will host a conference that explores the relationships of poverty, human trafficking, modern slavery, and slavery’s links to consumerism and the cost of products.

E. Benjamin Skinner, an award-winning author and journalist who has written extensively on modern-day slavery, will be the keynote presenter at “The $$ and Sense of Modern Slavery,” which will take place from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Saturday, April 5, in Bent Hall auditorium.  The aim of the conference is to increase awareness and unite the efforts of faculty, students, and the community at large to eradicate this crime against humanity. The title of Skinner’s address is “Face-to-Face with Modern-day Labor Slaves.”  

In researching his book, A Crime So Monstrous: Face-to-Face with Modern-Day Slavery, Skinner observed the negotiation for sale of human beings on four continents.  Skinner was a senior fellow at the Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism at Brandeis University from 2009 to 2013. His articles and investigations have appeared in Time, Newsweek International, the Los Angeles Times, the Miami Herald, Foreign Affairs, and Foreign Policy, among others, and on ABC's Nightline. He frequently appears as an expert on modern slavery on national networks including ABC, CBS, CNN, C-SPAN, Fox, NBC, PBS, and CNN, as well as international and local networks.

Charles M. A. Clark, Ph.D., senior fellow, Vincentian Center for Church and Society, and professor of economics, and Christopher Vogt, Ph.D., chair and associate professor, Theology and Religious Studies, will explore slavery’s links to the goods we buy. As CRS Scholars in Global Solidarity, Clark and Vogt traveled to Brazil, where they met freed slaves and worked with affiliates of Catholic Relief Services. 

A final panel of experts will look at ways that we all can join the fight against modern-day slavery through shareholder investments, protecting immigrants’ labor rights, and fair trade. This conference is cosponsored by NY-CRC-STOP; LifeWay Network, Ladies of Charity at St. John’s, the Office of Multicultural Affairs, and the Vincentian Center for Church and Society.

Seating is limited. Registration is required and has been extended to April 2. Visit stjohns.edu/trafficking to register. If you have any questions, contact the Vincentian Center for Church and Society at 718-990-1612.