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Filling in the Empirical Vacuum
Dr. Elzbieta Gozdziak*
It Takes a Network: The Information Technology Turn in the Modern Abolitionist Movement
Major Dave Blair, Department of Government**
Psychosocial Services: Breaking the Chains of Manipulation
Ms. Chloe Smith, School of Foreign Service***
On the back of ISIM’s successful Anti-Human Trafficking Symposium co-sponsored with Deloitte, this inter-disciplinary lunchtime presentation will bring together three diverse perspectives on this prominent issue. ISIM’s Dr. Gozdziak will discuss the Institute’s extensive research in the area focusing on the newest collaboration with the US Conference of Catholic Bishops on analyzing extant data on 3000 victims trafficked to the US. Major Blair will explore three key elements of shared online safe spaces that have the capacity to enhance partnerships and will discuss tools to plug civil society into the anti-trafficking movement. Ms. Smith will discuss the potential benefits of complementing existing legal structures with psychosocial services.
Thursday 28, February
A light lunch will be served
* Dr. Elzbieta Gozdziak, Research Director, ISIM
** Major Blair is a PhD student in Georgetown's Government Department, where he studies historical and contemporary attempts to suppress illicit markets, with a methodological focus on social network analysis. He is a graduate of the Harvard Kennedy School and the US Air Force Academy. As a pilot in Air Force Special Operations Command, he has experience in combatting dark networks from Iraq, Afghanistan and emerging fronts. His current research interests include the Information Technology (IT) turn in the modern-day abolitionist movement.
Background to presentation: Traffickers rely on market structures to coordinate operations and share best practices; conversely, the diverse members of the anti-human-trafficking movement suffer from an 'anti-market,' where competition over grants and donors hurts NGOs' attempts to partner with each other. This results in deep data problems, unsynchronized interventions, and ultimately a diminished ability to assist victims of trafficking. Information Technology offers a solution to many of these problems. By creating a 'synthetic market,' a safe shared online space restructures the incentives of the movement - movement leaders lead by creating shared value rather than solely by monopolizing funding streams. This empowers civil society and enables partnership with law enforcement and state social services. Major Blair explores three key elements of a shared online safe space - Barricade Networks, local networks that build upon existing partnerships to synch activities, the Data Ecosystem, a space where data can migrate between networks, and Dynamic Ontology, a data structure which allows organizations to partner without a 'master network.' He concludes by exploring Crisis Mapping and Crowd Sourcing as tools to plug civil society into the anti-trafficking movement.
*** C. Smith is a senior in the School of Foreign Service studying International Politics and Justice and Peace Studies. During her time at Georgetown, Smith has discovered her passion for the nonprofit sector volunteering with the Center for Social Justice and interning for a consulting firm specializing in nonprofit development. Last year, she lived in Lisbon, Portugal where she edited a magazine published by a non-profit and volunteered as an English tutor at a local school. Currently, Smith works at the Center for Public and Nonprofit Leadership where she is learning more about nonprofit management from an academic perspective.
Background to presentation: Traffickers rely on a variety of control mechanisms to manipulate victims into obedient, loyal workers. These control mechanisms result in high levels of trauma, which can lead to, among other things, PTSD, traumatic bonding and depression. The legal system must meet the challenge of providing adequate mental health services for all survivors, as well as legal aid. However, the current system is not set up to deal with trauma and nor is there a system in place to identify trafficked persons. A gross number of trafficked women and children go unidentified, are punished as criminals, or if identified as trafficking victims, are traumatized by their interactions with law enforcement officials and courtroom experiences. Ms. Smith will discuss the potential benefits of complementing existing legal structures with psychosocial services. The psychosocial approach provides a path to long-term recovery to trafficked persons and strengthens their ability to make themselves heard in court by increasing their resilience and self-confidence.