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Connecting People and Ideas for Integrated Development

Trafficking in Persons and the Crisis of Violent Extremism

Tuesday, April 24


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"Human trafficking is one of the most tragic human rights issues of our time. It splinters families, distorts global markets, undermines the rule of law, and spurs other transnational criminal activity. It threatens public safety and national security.” Department of State

Trafficking is a massive problem. An estimated 24.9 million victims are trapped in modern-day slavery. Of these, 16 million (64%) were exploited for labor, 4.8 million (19%) were sexually exploited, and 4.1 million (17%) were exploited in state-imposed forced labor.

While many factors contribute to the risks of individuals falling prey to trafficking, they are at particular risk when they have willingly or unwillingly left their homes as migrants or refugees. Violence, often associated with violent extremism in countries such as Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Syria, and Somalia has resulted in a flood of displaced persons and refugees. According to the UNHCR approximately 65 million individuals worldwide have been displaced due to conflict and violence. In this workshop, we will examine the intersection between violence and violent extremism and trafficking, methods of researching these problems and the potential for counter violent extremism programming to contribute to the fight against human trafficking.

Background of Conference

The conference is open to the public and will:

  • Introduce participants to trafficking - while many people are aware of trafficking, participants will examine the current understanding of trafficking the state of efforts to counter trafficking in persons;
  • Examine the intersection between trafficking and Violent Extremism - trafficking appears to intersect with violent extremism in multiple ways: in placing persons at risk through forced displacement; serving as a source of human resources for extremist organizations (e.g. child soldiers etc.) and as a possible source of funding through selling victims and/or charging them for removal from the area of risk.
  • Consider how countering violent extremism (CVE) programming does or might affect trafficking – international development efforts to counter violent extremism are increasingly being funded by the US and other governments, but to what extent do they address issues of trafficking in persons?; and
  • Explore methods of researching trafficking and violent extremism – both trafficking and violent extremism are difficult to study as they exist in the shadows; the conference will present and examine methods employed by researchers in each area.


  • 8:30-9:00 - Breakfast and Registration
  • 9:00-9:15 - Introductions/Welcome
  • 9:15-10:30 - Session 1: Trafficking in Persons; An Overview
  • 10:45-11:00 - Coffee Break
  • 11:00-12:30 - Session 2: Violent Extremism and Countering Violent Extremism
  • 12:30-1:30 - Lunch
  • 1:30-3:30 - Session 3: Researching Trafficking and Violent Extremism
  • 3:30-3:45 - Coffee
  • 3:45-5:00 - Session 4: Reflections on the Intersection between VE and TIP


  • Vy Lam, PhD, DCHA/DRG/HR, IIE Democracy Fellow on Human Rights
  • Patrick J. Hannon, Director, Human Smuggling and Trafficking Center
  • Laura Gonzales-Murphy, PhD, Director, NY State Department Office for New Americans
  • Camila Campisi, Empire State Fellow, NY State Department Office for New America
  • R. Karl Rethemeyer, PhD, Interim Dean Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy
  • Victor Asal, PhD, Chair of the Department of Public Administration and Professor at Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy
  • Niloufer Siddiqui, PhD, Post-doctoral fellow at Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy
  • Matthew C. Ingram, JD, PhD, Associate Professor Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy
  • David E. Guinn, JD, PhD, Senior Associate at CID and Research Professor Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy
  • Gina Volynsky, Director of CID and MIA Faculty Member