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For immediate release Contact: Elissa Steglich (Spanish language)

Joy Zarembka



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

What: Shaping the Future: New Voices and Strategies on Human Trafficking

Where: Chicago-Kent College of Law

565 W. Adams Street
Chicago, IL

When: March 14 – 16

Speakers: Helga Konrad, Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe
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.