This presentation was given at the 2016 Coalition to End Sexual Exploitation Summit in Houston, TX, hosted by The National Center on Sexual Exploitation. Details on the CESE Summit at EndExploitationSummit.com.
Over the last fifty years, a culture of exploitation and abuse has emerged. Some argue that it was always there, but hidden from view; some argue that new technologies, media, and other problems like the breakdown of the nuclear family are the cause, some say inadequate laws and law enforcement are the problem. This presentation will trace the rise of this modern day slavery, here in the U.S. and globally, and look at the response to this burgeoning problem, including fledgling anti-exploitation movements in the 70s and 80s, early anti-trafficking work in the 90s, the passage of the TVPA and its reauthorizations as the U.S. legislature got involved, and a few questions: What progress has been made, what remains to be done, and where do we go from here?
In addition to serving as the President and Founder of Global Centurion, Laura J. Lederer is also a current subject matter expert to Department of Defense Combating Trafficking in Persons (CTIP) Office and Department of Health and Human Services on human trafficking.
Laura J. Lederer founded and directed The Protection Project at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government in 1997. From 2001 to 2009, she served as Senior Advisor on Trafficking in Persons to Under Secretary of State for Democracy and Global Affairs, Paula J. Dobriansky, and then Senior Director of Global Projects in the Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons at the U.S. Department of State.
From 2001 – 2009, she was the Executive Director of the Senior Policy Operating Group on Trafficking in Persons, a high level interagency policy group that staffed the President’s cabinet-level Inter-agency Task Force on Trafficking in Persons. She received her B.A. magna cum laude in comparative religions from the University of Michigan. After 10 years in philanthropy as director of community and social concerns at a private foundation, she continued her education at the University of San Francisco Law School and DePaul College of Law and received her juris doctorate in June 1994.
In 1998, she was awarded the Gustavus Meyers Center for Study of Human Rights Annual Award for Outstanding Work on Human Rights. In 2008, she was the recipient of the Adele Herwitz Award of CCFNS International. She received the University of Michigan Alumni Humanitarian Service Award, the greatest award to living University of Michigan alumni, for her work on human trafficking. In 2009, she received The Protection Project 2009 Human Rights Award of Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies for her invaluable contribution to the global movement to stop human trafficking.
In 2008, Laura founded Global Centurion, a non-profit organization dedicated to eradicating modern slavery by focusing on the demand side of the problem – the perpetrators, exploiters, buyers, and end-users of human beings, seeking to prevent modern slavery at its source. Under her leadership, GC has: (1) Developed significant demand-focused research and programs; (2) Provided cutting-edge education, awareness and advocacy training to communities, civic leaders, NGOs, law enforcement and at-risk populations; and, (3) Established leading partnerships and collaborative networks to respond to modern slavery.