IU McKinney Event to Focus on Government Responses to Sex Trafficking of Children


The issue of sex trafficking of children, and how state governments can respond to the problem, will be the focus of the Program on Law and State Government’s (PLSG) annual symposium, slated for September 19 at the IU Robert H. McKinney School of Law.

Two IU McKinney third-year students, Carlos Gonzalez and Chelsea Shelburne, who are this year’s PLSG fellows, will present their research during the day-long event.

Gonzalez will speak first on the topic “A Millennial Approach: Law Enforcement, Prosecution, and Policy.” Gonzalez  is himself a former police officer, having served 11 years in the Oakland Police Department in California. Following his presentation, a panel of experts from across the nation who work in state and federal government will discuss their experiences, and a clinical law professor who runs a human trafficking law clinic will talk about ways to think about success in defeating the problem.

The luncheon keynote speaker will be Holly Austin Smith, author of the book Walking Prey: How America’s Youth are Vulnerable to Sex Slavery. Smith is a survivor of human trafficking and will share her story, as well as offer her insights into mindsets of trafficking victims.

The afternoon session kicks off with Shelburne who will speak about her findings in a talk titled “Early Detection and Prevention: Using the Juvenile Justice System to Reach Potential Victims and Educate At-Risk Youth.” Shelburne became interested in the topic after hearing Marion County Juvenile Judge Marilyn Moores, ’81, speak about it.

“Once I learned that sex trafficking happens all around us, I wanted to explore the issue further,” Shelburne said. “The problem implicates cultural, legal and economic factors. I've gained a greater understanding of how lawyers can play a key role in addressing a complicated problem like sex trafficking.”

Shelburne’s talk will be followed by a panel discussion featuring international and state experts who will talk about the role of state government in juvenile justice and the recovery of sex trafficking victims.

The event begins at 8:30 a.m. on September 19, and carries 4.6 hours of continuing legal education credit. For more information, contact Kyle Galster at (317) 274-0042 or kgalster@iupui.edu

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