March 1, 2011—The University of Denver along with the Iliff School of Theology is sponsoring a conference on Religion, Human Trafficking and Modern Slavery March 31 to April 2 on the campuses of the two institutions. The conference will draw attention to the contemporary problems of human trafficking and slavery and address what faith-based organizations are doing to try to solve the problem.
"Human trafficking today, according to United Nations statistics, is a rapidly exploding international scourge that long ago dwarfed the numbers of victims at the height of the trans-Atlantic slave trade two centuries ago," says Carl Raschke, professor of Religious Studies at DU. "Governments and law enforcement can only barely begin to deal with the problem. The 'new abolitionists,' as they are coming to be called, consist in thousands, if not millions, of private volunteers from different faiths and faith-based organizations. They are mobilizing to fight a citizens' war at the grass roots against the corrupt governments, private interests, and global criminal cartels that have made the degradation of human life and freedom a flourishing industry."
Program and registration information for the conference can be found at http://www.denverconference.net. Registration is $90 ($110 after March 15) for two-days, $50 for one-day ($60 after March 15).
The keynote speaker will be David Batstone, professor of Business Ethics at the University of San Francisco, and founder of Not for Sale, Inc. - the leading global citizens' network organized to fight human trafficking. James Stewart, professor emeritus of History at Macalester College will give a talk titled, "Toward a New Abolitionist Movement: Historical Slavery, Contemporary Slavery, and the Religious Imagination." His talk at 7 p.m. March 31 in Lindsay Auditorium in Sturm Hall is free and open to the public, but registration is requested.