On March 20, the Mary Leonard Law Society and Willamette University College of Law hosted a panel entitled Combating Human Trafficking.
Panelists included Assistant United States Attorney Hannah Horsley, FBI Victim Specialist Shannon Meyer, Joel Shapiro of Shared Hope International, Tanith Rogers of the FBI Child Exploitation Task Force, Chanpone Sinlapasai of Marandas & McClellan LLC, and Gwynne Skinner, director of the Willamette International Human and Refugee Rights Clinic.
The presentation detailed the types of human trafficking present in our community, the unique difficulties these human rights violations present for law enforcement, and the ways in which NGOs collaborate with authorities to help victims. Many of the panelists offered practical tips to identify and respond to possible trafficking situations.
Panelists noted specific opportunities for attorneys and other community members to become involved. Professor Skinner suggested tracking relevant legislative bills and assisting with lobbying efforts. Shannon Meyer and Hannah Horsley noted that traffickers frequently target at-risk youth, so supporting organizations that serve those potential victims can stop trafficking before it happens.
Attendees received a wealth of resources, including tip hotlines, NGO information, and educational materials.