Conference to examine human trafficking
Human trafficking is the second-largest criminal industry in the world today, after drug dealing.
Southern Wesleyan University, in partnership with First Wesleyan Church/ALIVE and the S.C. District of The Wesleyan Church, is offering a conference on human trafficking, “Stand Against Trafficking,” Oct. 14-16. The event will be on the university’s campus in Central.
The conference will begin at 7 p.m. on Oct. 14 with a community forum, continue with workshops and a rally all day on Oct. 15 and wrap up on Oct. 16 at noon. Registration fees are $85 per adult or $35 per student, due by Oct. 1. The Oct. 14 and 15 community forums are free and open to the public. Scholarships are available.
“We are grateful for the opportunity to focus on such a major worldwide issue,” said Dr. David Spittal, president of Southern Wesleyan University. “As Christians, we are compelled to educate ourselves about these issues and do what we can to combat these problems.”
The International Labor Organization estimates that global profits from forced labor and human trafficking exceed $44 billion annually. An estimated 27 million people are held captive around the world at any given time. Close to 55,000 children and women are brought into the U.S. each year as captives, and human trafficking is the fastest-growing criminal industry in the world.
Rev. Tom Harding of First Wesleyan Church/ALIVE is passionate about being a part of ending Human Trafficking.
“We are involved at a local and global level to bring hope to those who have been trafficked, as well as educate and prevent,” Harding said.
Keynote speakers for the conference are human trafficking issue experts Lisa Thompson and Jeff Semple.
Thompson is liaison for the Abolition of Sexual Trafficking for The Salvation Army USA National Headquarters. In this role, she works on public policy issues related to eradicating sexual trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation. She also assists in the development of strategies for The Salvation Army to create recovery services for survivors of sexual trafficking.
She has provided expert testimony to the U.S. Congress and also routinely speaks and facilitates training for a variety of audiences.
Semple is the music/creative arts pastor at Red Cedar Community Church in Rice Lake, Wis. In 2007, he traveled to Cambodia with World Hope International in effort to learn more about human trafficking and to meet with the organizations that work to stop it.
Since returning from Cambodia, Semple has worked with local churches and organizations on how to educate people here in the United States about this worldwide problem.
For conference details, e-mail Marty Grimes at .edu';h780610943='bellsouth.net';document.write('' + linktext + ''); or go to www.swu.edu.