As our readers know, last week the BBA’s Public Interest Leaders hosted the much anticipated symposium “Human Trafficking: A Call to Action, which packed the BBA’s headquarters with over 125 attendees and attracted some major national press coverage.
The program provided attendees with an overview of the issue of human trafficking as well as the recently passed Massachusetts legislation on the topic. Through three different panels, speakers provided a snapshot of the legal, law enforcement and community-based work that is being done throughout the Commonwealth to combat human trafficking. Panelists also provided insight into the next steps on the issue, highlighting the need for a comprehensive exit program for victims as well as an anti-human trafficking statute.
Take it from panelist Julie Dahlstrom (Director of the Human Trafficking Clinic at Boston University School of Law; Immigration Legal Assistance Program of Lutheran Social Services of New England):
“The panelists challenged us, as lawyers, to not only better understand the issue of human trafficking but to call us to act – to better identify legal barriers faced by trafficking survivors and to see how the law can be a force of change in their lives. I was heartened to see such broad support from the Boston bar and to witness so many attorneys stepping forward to volunteer to make a difference to combat trafficking. I applaud the Boston Bar Association for organizing such an inspirational event, and I hope that the momentum from the event will continue to spark further debate and dialogue on this important issue.
Here’s what PILP class member Staci Rubin (Alternatives for Community & Environment) had to say about the event:
“Our panelists did a fabulous job articulating what human trafficking looks like in the Commonwealth and how people can work across disciplines to address the issue. I am delighted with the large turnout, which signals that the legal community cares about the issue of human trafficking. There is a group of individuals who stand ready to take action to support survivors and other experts in their anti-human trafficking work I appreciated the opportunity to work with my PILP colleagues to create, develop, and execute the “Call To Action.”
Beyond the Billable thanks and congratulates the following PILP members who worked to coordinate this collaborative event: Staci Rubin (Alternatives for Community & Environment), Daniel Routh (Ropes & Gray LLP), Benton Bodamer (Weil, Gotshal & Manges), Jacqueline Anchondo (Boston Area Rape Crisis Center Cambridge), Omar Gonzalez-Pagan (Massachusetts Office of the Inspector General), Meghan D. Hely Walsh (Holland & Knight LLP) and Anjali Waikar (Krokidas & Bluestein LLP).
For more information about the event or PILP, please contact Susan Helm, [email protected].