Interdisciplinary Conference on Human Trafficking at the University of Nebraska


Date of this Version



Presented at First Annual Interdisciplinary Conference on Human Trafficking, Lincoln, Nebraska, October 29-31, 2009.
Copyright © 2009 Tania DoCarmo.


Trafficking in persons (TIP) and commercial sexual exploitation (CSE) are a growing global phenomenon, co-conspiring in the further development of modern day slavery. Though trafficking has traditionally been viewed as a problem “overseas”, the United States government acknowledges that the U.S. is no stranger to TIP, with tens of thousands believed to be trafficked into and within U.S. borders.

Though national efforts to fight TIP and CSE have increased in recent years, there remain several gaps and challenges if modern day slavery is to be brought to an end in the U.S. and across the globe. One such challenge is that cooperation and coordination among NGOs, U.S. government agencies and grassroots movements is currently insufficient. Concrete and sustainable referral systems between agencies is weak, information sharing of best practice is often neglected, and agencies often find they’ve had to ‘reinvent the wheel’ due to a lack of knowledge of what’s already being done.

An exhaustive catalog, index, or list of organizations, agencies, and movements working against TIP and CSE across the United States currently does not exist. A mapping of organizations will aid in the development of more collaboration and cooperation amongst involved agencies as a critical step in addressing modern day slavery.

With its U.S. Mapping Project, Chab Dai USA, a branch of Chab Dai Cambodia, aims to collaborate with other like-minded organizations in order to measure how organizations, ministries and service providers are currently providing a response to TIP and CSE in the United States. Organizations mapped will include prevention initiatives, legal intervention programs, social services, collaborative initiatives, research, and advocacy programs, amongst others. Once a database has been developed, the findings, along with a list of recommendations aimed to cover gap areas, will be disseminated (with safeguards in place) with the intention of developing major networking initiatives.