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Centro to host talk on labor exploitation

Thursday, April 11, 2019

The Center for the Study of the Southwest at Texas State University will host a presentation at Centro Cultural Hispano de San Marcos today at 6:30 p.m. about forced labor and labor exploitation in the Southwest.

Despite the abolition of slavery, the trafficking of humans for the purposes of sex work and cheap labor has emerged as a major criminal and social justice issue, in the United States and abroad. Using her work with the Statewide Human Trafficking Mapping Project for Texas, Dr. Melissa Maldonado Torres will discuss the place of social research in eradicating slavery in Texas, 153 years after its most recent abolition. She will offer practical and visionary ways to not only recognize forced labor but to also dislodge it in our community.

Dr. Torres has been advocating for a social justice and human rights lens on labor policies and researching the range of exploitation in labor markets and the intersection with vulnerable populations. She oversees the Statewide Human Trafficking Mapping Project for Texas, a research initiative funded through the Criminal Justice Division of the Office of the Governor to provide empirically-grounded data about the extent of human trafficking in Texas. She served as the subject matter expert on the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ healthcare professional’s response to human trafficking program, an initiative of President Barack Obama’s Federal Strategic Action Plan on Services for Victims. Torres has been recognized by the U.S. Congress with a Certification of Congressional Recognition for her presentation to the U.S. Department of Labor Women’s Bureau.

For more information about the presentation call Centro Cultural Hispano de San Marcos at 512-878-0640.

San Marcos Record

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P.O. Box 1109, San Marcos, TX 78666