For immediate release Contact


Elissa Steglich (Spanish language) 312-660-1354 Joy Zarembka 202-441-2422

FREEDOM NETWORK TO HOLD NATIONAL CONFERENCE ON HUMAN TRAFFICKING Chicago -- March 14-16 -- Five years after the passage of the Trafficking Victim Protection Act, advocates, law enforcement officials and survivors will meet Tuesday for a three-day conference on combating modern-day slavery in the US and throughout the world. What: Where: Shaping the Future: New Voices and Strategies on Human Trafficking Chicago-Kent College of Law 565 W. Adams Street Chicago, IL March 14 – 16


Key Speakers: Helga Konrad, Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) Alberto Gonzales, U.S. Attorney General “People hear ‘trafficking’ and think of Eastern European and Asian women,” said Elissa Steglich, an attorney specializing in the field at the Midwest Immigrant & Human Rights Center of Heartland Alliance. “But the reality is survivors are also men, women and children from Africa, Latin America and the United States – all parts of the globe. Trafficking obviously exists in the sex and drug trades. But we also find it in low-wage industries from construction to domestic cleaning, from agriculture to restaurant work.” Helga Konrad, Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) Special Representative on Combating Trafficking in Human Beings, will give the opening plenary addressing global efforts to combat human trafficking. U.S. Attorney General


Alberto Gonzales will address the group about government efforts to combat trafficking on Wednesday, March 15, 2006. The conference, entitled “Shaping the Future: New Voices and Strategies on Human Trafficking,” will draw on the experience of survivors to address such issues as working with children and youth; worker-based approaches to anti-trafficking; prosecution of trafficking cases and mental health issues for victims of human trafficking and will include interactive activities, roundtable discussions, panels and anti-trafficking films. Freedom Network (USA), established in 2000, is a coalition of 30 nongovernmental organizations that provide legal, health, and social services to trafficking survivors in the United States and advocates for their rights. Collectively, Freedom Network member organizations have served more than 1,500 victims trafficked to the United States from nearly 60 countries. Members assist persons who have been recruited, transported and/or harbored for forced labor, slavery, debt bondage or servitude in agricultural work, child labor, domestic work, manufacturing, prostitution, servile marriage and other types of labor or services. ###