Activist to speak out against human trafficking

An estimated 14,500 to 17,500 people, women and children primarily, are brought to the U.S. through trafficking annually. Norma Ramos will speak at 7 p.m. March 29 in Derryberry Auditorium about human trafficking.

Ramos is a public attorney, social justice activist and Executive Director of the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women. CATW works internationally, promoting women’s rights by fighting all forms of sexual exploitation, including mail-order brides, prostitution, sex tourism, and pornography. It is the first international non-governmental organization of its kind to focus on sex trafficking of women and girls.

“I will be talking about how to create the legal, political and social conditions that can end human trafficking in our lifetime,” Ramos said.

This is a Center Stage event hosted by the Women’s Center. It is free and open to the public. A question and answer session will follow.

As defined by CATW, human trafficking is the transportation, harboring, and receiving of persons by means of threat, use of force or other forms of coercion, abduction, fraud, deception, abuse of power or of a position of vulnerability, or the giving or receiving of payments or benefits for the purpose of exploitation.

One of the most publicized recent campaigns by Ramos and the CATW was the protest to shut down the “adult services” ads on Craigslist.org, which Ramos said were used to facilitate sex trafficking.

Ramos has spoken about her work on shows such as “Charlie Rose” and “Larry King Live” and has appeared on national radio programs. She has received the Women’s Committee Award and the Flor De Maga Award from the Puerto Rican Bar Association and the Humanist Heroine Award 2009 from the American Humanist Association.

Among CATW’s mission objectives are education for children, the general public and authorities on sex trafficking; consulting governmental commissions drafting legislation on prostitution, sex trafficking and the sex industry; and helping to create and support alternatives for those who are sexually exploited.

For more information, visit www.catwinternational.org.