Dr. Mary C. Burke will speak on modern slavery

Founder and executive director of the Project to End Human Trafficking, Dr. Mary C. Burke, will visit the Penn State School of International Affairs to speak about "Human Rights and Responsibility: the Issue of Modern Slavery" on October 25.

"Learning more about this sobering issue is vital to a community of international scholars," said Professor Tiyanjana Maluwa, director of the School of International Affairs and a scholar of human rights. "This is a must-see presentation for everyone who is interested in human rights and social justice.”

While human trafficking is a worldwide problem, the United States is a destination country for trafficked people. Last month a grand jury in Hawaii indicted six people on charges of enslaving 400 Thai farm workers, the largest trafficking case in American history. The U.S. State Department reports that during FY 2009, the U.S. Department of Justice charged 114 individuals and obtained 47 convictions on 43 human trafficking prosecutions, the highest number of prosecutions and defendants in a given year.

Based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, the Project to End Human Trafficking (PEHT) focuses on educational outreach, direct service to victims, and collaboration with other national and international organizations in the global fight against human trafficking. Dr. Burke is a faculty member of the psychology department of Carlow University, where her research and teaching focus on the mental health of under-served groups.
Dr. Burke's talk will begin at 7:00 p.m. in the Greg Sutliff Auditorium of the Lewis Katz Building in University Park, Pennsylvania. This event, which is open to the public, is sponsored by the Penn State School of International Affairs, Centre County United Nations Association (UNA) and UNA's Council of Organizations.