Washington State Senator Jeanne Kohl-Welles will talk about the historical, cultural, socioeconomic and public policy perspectives on human trafficking at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 21 at Edmonds Community College.
The program, sponsored by Humanities Washington, will be in Room 304A/B in Snohomish Hall.
Kohl-Welles will explore complex questions related to the ethics and public policy around this issue, past and present. She will discuss misbeliefs about human trafficking, confronting the facts that human trafficking does take place in Washington and that the U.S. is not just a destination country but also a source and transit country for trafficking. Finally, she will examine what is being done to intervene and prevent human trafficking, including new laws, innovative law enforcement approaches and actions being taken by human rights groups.
Kohl-Welles has been the primary and secondary sponsor of many anti-trafficking bills in the Washington State Senate, helping make Washington the lead state in the country in efforts to eliminate human trafficking. Kohl-Welles received Seattle Against Slavery’s 2010 Lincoln Freedom Award for her legislative efforts to combat human trafficking, including her sponsorship of one of the first bills on human trafficking enacted in the country. She has served in the Washington State Senate since 1994, following three years in the State House. Kohl-Welles serves on the University of Washington’s Human Trafficking Task Force as well as on ArtsWA. She holds a doctorate in sociology of education from UCLA and has been an adjunct faculty member in the Gender, Women and Sexuality Studies department; Department of Sociology; and College of Education at the University of Washington since 1985.