On Friday, October 11 Coker College in Hartsville, South Carolina will host the first conference about human trafficking, “Combatting Human Trafficking in South Carolina: Implications for Social Work and Law Enforcement” offering the public information as well as workshops, training and speakers for the benefit of educating law enforcement, social workers, advocates, and other professionals who work in the arena of human trafficking.
Registration will be held from 8 to 10 a.m. in the Stein Gallery of the Performing Arts Center.
Human Trafficking Expert Dottie Laster Keynotes Conference
Dottie Laster is a nationally recognized expert in the field of human trafficking. She has been trained by the Department of Justice to train law enforcement on human trafficking. She has been the architect and leader of human trafficking task forces and coalitions in many cities in Texas and California. In her career she has been directly and indirectly responsible for the rescue and service of over 200 victims of trafficking in the United States. She is credentialed to practice immigration law through the Bernado Kohler Center.
Dottie Laster is featured in the documentary on sex trafficking in Latin bars and cantinas, The Cantinera Documentary, and will be the subject of an upcoming television show tentatively titled Project Red Light. Laster and her work have recently been featured in Texas Monthly, Town Hall Magazine, and MORE Magazine. The article in Town Hall Magazine by columnist Elisabeth Meinecke describes the increasing incidents of traffickers luring high school and college age girls and the seduction tactics they are using.
Always looking for funding to help in the restoration of trafficking victims, Laster has created a way for them to find that self-sufficiency by designing and creating jewelry for TRAFFICKED Designs and SOS=Save One Soul.
Speakers at the conference include:
- Dottie Laster, Laster Global Consulting and Bernardo Kohler Center
- Rep. Nelson Hardwick, South Carolina
- Luke F. Davis, special agent, FBI
- Pippin Whitaker, University of South Carolina
- Laura Carter, Tapestri International
- Carla Damron, executive director of the South Carolina Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers
- Gloria Davis, family violence services coordinator for the Pee Dee Coalition
- Anna Andoni, Human Trafficking Services case manager
- Carmen Julius, executive director of the Palmetto AIDS Life Support Services
- Patricia Ravenhorst, SVIN
- Professor Deb Breede, Coastal Carolina University
- Betty Houbion, Advocate
Co-sponsors of the event include:
- The South Carolina Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers
- Pee Dee Coalition
- Palmetto AIDS Life Support Services
- Betty Houbion, anti-human trafficking advocate and pioneer of the South Carolina anti-trafficking legislation and law. In January, 2013 South Carolina introduced a new law against human trafficking which seeks to better support victims of trafficking with needed resources, and increases penalties for those convicted of trafficking in humans, including asset forfeiture.
The Cantinera Documentary Screening FREE for Public Viewing
On Thursday, October 10, prior to the conference, there will be a public screening of The Cantinera Documentary, produced and directed by film maker Ruth Villatoro of Toro Films, and featuring Dottie Laster and Cat French, an activist with Elijah Rising. Five years in the making, The Cantinera tells the story of girls who are forced to work in latin bars, or cantinas, throughout the United States, often forced to drink 20-40 beers a night, 7 days a week. It’s a story often overlooked when studying aspects of human trafficking and forced labor, yet it’s an account of thousands of women who are caught in its web with no way out.
Through the story of three women, the film navigates through the virtually unheard of subject from the perspective of a cantinera, an advocate and a vigilante. Go first hand into the cantinas while rescuers search for victims and women take a stand against one of the most powerful crime organizations….Ruth Villatoro, Director Statement
Following the screening of The Cantinera Documentary in the Davidson Hall Auditorium, there will be a panel discussion and public question and answer period led by Dottie Laster. Admission is FREE to the public.
Dottie Laster Keynotes at FIRST South Carolina
Human Trafficking Conference at Coker College
- Kim Kolton’s Crime Wire: Dottie Laster, Human Trafficking 101 (imaginepublicity.com)
- Boys forgotten victims in human trafficking, says MP (sunnewsnetwork.ca)
- Emory to host conference on human trafficking (onlineathens.com)
- Vulnerable Bodies, Vulnerable Borders: Extraterritoriality and Human Trafficking (sexworkresearch.wordpress.com)
- Human trafficking manual launched (times.co.zm)