‘Founding mother of new human rights movement’ to speak at RIT March 22

Laura Lederer is pioneer in the work to stop human trafficking

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Laura Lederer, senior director for global projects on trafficking in persons, U.S. Department of State, speaks at RIT at 2 p.m. Friday, March 22.

In 2012, the United Nations released the latest figures on human trafficking around the world: there are 2.4 million victims at any given time; 80 percent of victims are exploited for sexual slavery; the odds of rescue is one in 100. According to Michael Laver, assistant professor of history at Rochester Institute of Technology, “What figures such as these can obscure, however, is that trafficking in human persons is not only an enormous global problem, but has local ramifications as well, even in our own communities.”

To help shed light on the topic of sex trafficking, RIT is hosting a free presentation by Laura Lederer, senior director for Global Projects on Trafficking in Persons for the U.S. Department of State, at 2 p.m. Friday, March 22, in Liberal Arts Hall, room A205.

Lederer, considered a pioneer in the work to stop human trafficking, is responsible for designing programs addressing issues related to specialized trafficking in persons. By gathering experts in the mobile phone, social networking and computer-gaming industries, she works to track the ways traffickers are using new technologies, and designs interventions to combat them. Lederer also serves as president of Global Centurion, a non-governmental organization dedicated to fighting world slavery and human trafficking by focusing on demand.

In 1997, Lederer founded and directed The Protection Project, a legal research institute devoted to combating trafficking in persons, at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. She has served as senior adviser on trafficking in persons to Under Secretary of State for Democracy and Global Affairs, and is an adjunct professor of law at Georgetown University Law Center, where she taught the first full course on international trafficking in persons offered at a law school.

Her talk is sponsored by RIT’s College of Liberal Arts and Center for Women and Gender, the Gandhi Institute and Feminists Choosing Life of New York.

For more information, contact Laver at 585-475-1918 or mslgsh@rit.edu.