U.S. Ambassador Luis CdeBaca to Lead Nov. 1 Event on Human Trafficking and Supply Chain Slavery
UPDATE: On Thursday, Nov. 1, the Thomas M. Cooley Law School hosted a day-long human trafficking prevention event which focused on the global fight against contemporary forms of slavery and how companies and consumers can collaborate to end this atrocity existing in corporate supply chains.
October 23, 2012 - Ambassador Luis CdeBaca, senior advisor to the Secretary of State in charge of coordinating U.S. government activities in the global fight against contemporary forms of slavery, will join a panel of experts on November 1, in a discussion on how corporations and members of the public can collaborate to end slavery existing in corporate supply chains. This will be discussed at a day-long Human Trafficking prevention event that includes both a Cooley Law Review Symposium and a Conference of the Michigan Abolitionist Project (MAP). The event will be held at Cooley Law School’s Auburn Hills campus, 2630 Featherstone Road, Auburn Hills, Mich., and will be simulcast to Cooley’s Lansing and Grand Rapids campuses.
Both the Symposium, entitled, Buying and Selling People: Is that Your Business? Human Trafficking and Corporate Responsibility, and the MAP Conference on Corporate Responsibility are free and open to the public, although RSVPs are requested at http://www.michiganabolitionistproject.org/corporate-social-responsibility/.
The Symposium and Conference are integrated in a way that provides continuous programming on this issue from 8:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. A schedule for the November 1 event is available at cooley.edu/lawreview.
According to Event Organizer and Panelist E. Christopher Johnson, Jr., associate professor and director of Cooley Law School’s Corporate Law and Finance LL.M. program, supply chain slavery is pervasive throughout the world.
"Nearly 21 million individuals are caught in forced labor, slavery or human trafficking globally," said Johnson. "A significant number of these individuals work in the supply chains of many products from major corporations that we as consumers eat, wear or use every day. This Symposium will raise awareness of the fact that such slavery in supply chains touches each and every one of us every day. More importantly, the event will show everyone how to be a positive force in the fight against supply chain slavery and other forms of human trafficking by building coalitions among corporations, consumers, shareholders, investors, governmental and non-governmental organizations."
Johnson, a member of the Michigan Human Trafficking Task Force, was recently named a member of a newly-established American Bar Association (ABA) Business Law Section Working Group to prepare business conduct standards intended to assist businesses in eradicating forced labor in supply chains and complying with the growing number of supply chain laws. The Working Group will coordinate its efforts with the ABA's new Task Force on Human Trafficking, established by ABA President Laurel Bellows.
In addition to CdeBaca who will provide the keynote address, and Johnson who will also moderate the event, panelists include:
- Dr. Vanessa Bouche, Director, National Research Consortium on Commercial Sexual Exploitation
- Janna Lipman, Co-Founder and Executive Director, Anka Rising
- Dr. Shawn MacDonald, Director of Programs and Research, Verite´
- Brigadier General Michael McDaniel, Associate Professor of Law, Thomas M. Cooley Law School
- Rev. David Schilling, Program Director Human Rights and Resources, Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility
- Dr. Louise Shelley, Director, Terrorism Transnational Crime and Corruption Center, George Mason University
- Daniel Werner, Deputy Director, Southern Poverty Law Center
Last month, President Barack Obama announced efforts to combat human trafficking at home and abroad: "It ought to concern every person, because it’s a debasement of our common humanity. It ought to concern every community, because it tears at the social fabric. It ought to concern every business, because it distorts markets. It ought to concern every nation, because it endangers public health and fuels violence and organized crime. I’m talking about the injustice, the outrage, of human trafficking, which must be called by its true name—modern slavery."
"Our fight against human trafficking is one of the great human rights causes of our time, and the United States will continue to lead it…" Additional information on the President’s efforts can be found at http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2012/09/25/fact-sheet-obama-administration-announces-efforts-combat-human-trafficki.
Brigadier Gen. Michael McDaniel added "No company, of any size, in any location, including Michigan, should consider themselves immune from this issue. Whether you are a business owner or a consumer, we all have a responsibility to examine the supply pipeline, and ensure it is not compromised by slavery."
"I urge all attorneys, especially those representing corporations, law students, investors, shareholders, business managers, employees, human rights and anti-slavery advocates, victim service providers and others concerned about this issue to attend," said Johnson. He added that "Slavery in any form is an affront to human dignity and the freedoms that we as Americans hold so dear. Whether it is here or halfway around the world, as Dr. Martin Luther King said, 'Injustice anywhere is an affront to justice everywhere.' That is certainly the case when that injustice touches each and every one of us every day."
About Cooley Law School: Founded in 1972, the Thomas M. Cooley Law School is a private, nonprofit, independent law school accredited by the American Bar Association and the Higher Learning Commission. Cooley has provided its more than 16,000 graduates with the practical skills necessary for a seamless transition from academia to the real world. Cooley offers its Juris Doctor program, Joint Degree programs, and Master of Laws programs three times a year with enrollment in January, May and September. Cooley Law School has campuses across Michigan in Lansing, Auburn Hills, Grand Rapids and Ann Arbor, and its new campus in Tampa Bay, Florida.