11:46 AM

Sip and Stroll Event Offers Global Perspectives on Human Trafficking

Student Research Posters on View at 2nd Cup Coffee Shop, April 24


By Mike Emery

Human trafficking is a global problem. Each day, vulnerable populations are shuttled between and within countries and forced into labor or illegal activities.

In the United States, law enforcement agencies and activists are vigilant in their efforts to identify and stop traffickers. In other nations, the responses from police and community members can be quite different.

A recent University of Houston-Downtown (UHD) class project examined human trafficking responses around the globe and presented its findings on 12 posters (each focused on a specific country). These works will be showcased at Houston’s A 2nd Cup Coffee Shop (1111 E. 11th St.) during the Sip & Stroll event on April 24.

The posters will be on view from 5:30 to 7 p.m., and student researchers (from Dr. Rebecca Pfeffer’s Human Trafficking class) will be on hand to answer questions and discuss their findings.

“In some countries, the exploitation of people is normalized because of socioeconomic and political factors,” said Pfeffer, assistant professor of Criminal Justice. “When you get all of these posters in one room, people can better understand how human trafficking is defined in other areas of the world.”

In Thailand, for example, cultural factors and governmental corruption have normalized prostitution and other practices that contribute to trafficking, Pfeffer noted. And in Japan, the country’s criminal code does not prohibit all forms of trafficking, so law enforcement agencies must rely on enforcing other laws to prosecute traffickers.

The Sip & Stroll event is free and open to the public and was made possible by a grant from UHD’s College of Public Service. Coffee and refreshments will be provided.

A 2nd Cup is a 501(c)(3) federal non-profit nonprofit coffee shop with the mission of raising awareness of human trafficking in Houston and to develop resources to support trafficking survivors.

About the University of Houston-Downtown

The University of Houston-Downtown (UHD) – the second-largest university in Houston – has served the educational needs of the nation’s fourth-largest city since 1974.

As one of four distinct public universities in the University of Houston System, UHD is a comprehensive four-year university led by President Loren J. Blanchard. Annually, UHD educates more than 15,000 students; boasts more than 61,000 alumni and offers 45 bachelor’s, nine master’s degree programs and 16 fully online programs within five colleges (Marilyn Davies College of Business; Humanities & Social Sciences; Public Service; Sciences & Technology; and University College).

For the fourth consecutive year, U.S. News & World Report ranks UHD among universities across the nation for Best Online Criminal Justice Programs (No. 27 and No. 15 for Veterans) and Best Online Bachelor’s Programs.

UHD has the most affordable tuition among four-year universities in Houston and one of the lowest in Texas. U.S. News ranked the University among Top Performers on Social Mobility and awarded UHD a No. 1 ranking as the most diverse institution of higher education in the southern region of the U.S. The University is noted nationally as a Hispanic-Serving Institution, Minority-Serving Institution and Military Friendly School. For more on the University of Houston-Downtown, visit www.uhd.edu.