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) is the second-largest university in Houston and 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 approximately 14,000 students, boasts more than 66,000 alumni, and offers 45 bachelor’s degrees, 12 master’s degrees, and 19 online programs within four colleges: Marilyn Davies College of Business, College of Humanities and Social Sciences, College of Public Service, and College of Sciences and Technology. UHD has one of the lowest tuition rates in Texas.

U.S. News and World Report ranked UHD among the nation’s Best Online Bachelor’s Programs for Applied Administration and Best Online Master’s Programs in Criminal Justice, as well as a Top Performer in Social Mobility. The Wall Street Journal/College Pulse ranked UHD one of the best colleges in the U.S. for its 2024 rankings, with notable distinctions: No. 1 for diversity (tied) and No. 3 for student experience. The University is designated as a Hispanic-Serving Institution, a Minority-Serving Institution, and a Military Friendly School. For more information on the University of Houston-Downtown, visit uhd.edu.