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Learn about modern-day slavery in Washington state


October 22, 2014

Learn about the challenges and impacts of modern-day slavery in Washington state at a panel discussions on Oct. 23 at Everett Community College.

The panel is from 11 a.m.-12 p.m. in EvCC’s Baker Hall, Room 120.

Panelists will talk about slavery – being forced to work without compensation – in the United States and globally.

“Some people may think slavery ended after the Civil War,” said panel moderator Steven Tobias, an EvCC English instructor. “In reality, there are 21 million slaves in the world today – more than during any other era in human history.

“Some slaves live abroad and produce goods that Washington residents regularly enjoy. Some slaves are living here – right in our own backyard.”

Tobias said slavery in the United States takes many forms:

Young women are trafficked into prostitution. Migrant laborers are threatened with violence and made to work without compensation. Immigrants are cut off from their friends and families and forced to work as nannies or caregivers.

“At this moment, people are being held against their will and forced to work without compensation in Washington,” Tobias said.

Panelists will talk about how students, elected officials and other Washington residents can respond to reduce slavery.

In 2003, Washington became the first state in the nation to criminalize human trafficking, but the state remains a focal point for traffickers because of its ports, its proximity to Canada and its dependency on agricultural workers.

The Oct. 23 panel includes Ruth Hill, alignment director for the anti-human trafficking organization Washington Engage; Yasmin Christopher, an activist and survivor of human trafficking; and Paula Newman-Skomski, a nurse at the Providence Intervention Center for Assault and Abuse.

The discussion is sponsored by EvCC’s Humanities Alliance, with a grant from the college’s Global Education Initiative.

EvCC is located at 2000 Tower St. in north Everett.

-Edited by Beacon staff


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