2014 Spring Mansfield Conference
Mansfield Conference 2014
Human trafficking is a prevalent and yet largely overlooked international crisis. As many as 27 million people worldwide are believed to be trapped in modern day slavery. In the United States, some estimates project that 17,500 people are being trafficked across the country each year. Traffickers around the world are collectively earning $32 billion annually. This growing global concern affects Montana as well. In 2013, the Montana state legislature and the State Attorney General’s office took action to expand local laws, train and strengthen law enforcement, and increase awareness of human trafficking. Despite these encouraging efforts, Montana still has much more work to do.
From April 15-17, the Maureen and Mike Mansfield Center at the University of Montana hosted its 2014 Mansfield Conference, "Fight for Hope & Freedom: Human Trafficking, Montana & the World." This conference drew together leading subject matter experts, national activists, members of the university community, Montanan civic and business leaders, media, state law enforcement and federal and state political leaders to discuss how communities state can promote greater awareness and contribute to fighting this local and global problem. It also provided participating NGOs and law enforcement organizations the opportunity to help members of the university in specific and Montanans in general learn how to get involved in the local and global fight again human trafficking.