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Modern-day slavery to be topic highlighted at Loyola with a day of awareness

April 4, 2008

Loyola University will shed light on modern-day slavery during its Human Trafficking Awareness Day, on Tuesday, April 8.

The event, held in the St. Charles Room in the Danna Student Center on Loyola's main campus, will focus on a subject that goes widely unnoticed here in the United States. Loyola faculty and Social Justice Scholars, a group of students committed to community service and activism, will team up with the Metropolitan Center for Women and Children of New Orleans to present research on this global issue with the hope of creating more interest and awareness in the surrounding communities. Guest speakers from the Metropolitan Center will be present during Human Trafficking Awareness Day to speak about the issue and answer questions from participants.

Special events during the day will include a raffle of items crafted by former trafficking victims. In addition, event organizers will also hold a "How Do You Wear Your Orange" competition. Orange is the global color associated with freedom. For a more detailed schedule of events, see the accompanying tip sheet.

The Metropolitan Center for Women and Children, a nonprofit organization that serves abused individuals, recently received a federal grant that could be used to focus on the research and care of trafficked migrant workers. One of the goals of the Metropolitan Center is to provide a safe-haven for individuals, including trafficked workers. Sue Mennino, assistant professor of sociology and faculty coordinator of Human Trafficking Awareness Day, said, "Those who are trafficked are coerced (not forced) to come into the United States to work as farmers, spa technicians, construction workers. Once these individuals arrive in the United States, they are mistreated, their passports are taken away and they are paid very low, if any, wages. As a result, these individuals are put in a position that they cannot get out of."

Meninno also said, "The Metropolitan Center is vital in the aid of these individuals in order for them to resume a healthy life." She explained that human trafficking in the United States has been discovered on farms and in spas and is also prevalent in the sex industry.

For more information about this event, contact Sean Snyder in Loyola's Office of Public Affairs at (504) 861-5882.

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