Ascend Principal Consultant Laura Hassan kicked off December by participating in International Justice Mission and Winrock’s jointly hosted Evidence2Action: Global Perspectives event, convening survivors, U.S. government leaders, multilateral representatives, journalists, and global non-profit leaders in Washington, DC, for a discussion on evidence-based practices to reduce human trafficking.
The day-long summit opened with a survivor panel showcasing the work of IJM’s Global Survivor Network and Footprint to Freedom, and included a conversation with Honorable Bella Hounakey of the U.S. Advisory Council and James Dold of Survivor Alliance on lived-experience evidence for the crucial need to invest in survivor education, training, and professional integration into the anti-trafficking community.
Katarina Schwarz, University of Nottingham Rights Lab, Humanity Research Consultancy’s Eric Kasper and Lisa Slavovsky of the FBI highlighted the crucial role of collaborations between social scientists and grassroots service providers in applied research to support trafficking prevalence studies, victim identification, survivor reintegration and trauma recovery.
The role of victim evidence-gathering and trafficking syndicate tracking via geospatial technology and investigative journalism featured prominently in discussions with Gregory Bauer of the U.S. Department of State, Winrock’s Mark Taylor, and IJM’s Eric Heintz on uncovering technology-facilitated trafficking and cyber scamming in South Asia. Sally Frank of IJM noted cyberscamming’s connections to and distinctions from Online Sexual Exploitation of Children (OSEC) trends and criminal networks in the Philippines.
Ascend thanks International Justice Mission and Winrock for hosting a substantive event whose impacts resonate readily in the human trafficking, child protection, security, and intelligence spheres.