Friday October 24, 2014

Trafficking Stop

The National Educators to Stop Trafficking has selected a University of Dayton human rights expert and activist to help it put human trafficking curriculum in every school in America.

Tony Talbott, acting human rights studies director and political science lecturer, is well known in the fight to end human trafficking, as a founder of Abolition Ohio and as a member of the Ohio Attorney General's Human Trafficking Commission. He will serve on a NEST committee focused on trafficking education.

"Tony comes highly qualified to serve NEST in this capacity, and we are honored to have him be a part," said Yvonne Williams, NEST national coordinator.

Talbott said he became involved in the fight against human trafficking while serving in the U.S. Navy in the Philippines.

"There was a main strip outside of the base, full of bars and prostitutes. This was normal. There was one bar called Sweet 16. The oldest girls working at the bar were only 16," Talbott said. "I didn't know then that it was human trafficking, but I knew it was wrong."

In addition to his work at the state, local and national levels, Talbott teaches a University of Dayton course on human trafficking, believed to be one of the first in the nation. Talbott also is the faculty advisor for the New Abolitionist Movement, a University of Dayton student organization to raise awareness and stop human trafficking. 

"I want to show students they should not just be passive observers, but they should try to make the change they want to see in the world. I want them to learn about the unfairness and lack of justice in the world. Then I can help them to see what they can do," Talbott explains. "We have a chance to end modern-day slavery, if we act now."

Human Rights Studies faculty and students were instrumental in the advocacy effort that led to the enactment of Ohio Senate Bill 235, which made human trafficking a criminal offense in Ohio.

The University of Dayton is a pioneer in human rights education, starting the country's first undergraduate human rights program in 1998 and offering one of the nation's first bachelor's degrees in human rights studies in 2008. It has committed to establishing a human rights center. Last year, the University hosted current and former representatives from the United Nations, Amnesty International USA, Human Rights Watch, WITNESS and World Peace Foundation, among others, for a conference that took a critical look at the future of human rights. 

For more information, contact Shawn Robinson, associate director of news and communications, at 937-229-3391 or srobinson@udayton.edu.

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