COLUMBIA -- The South Carolina Law Review will host its 2020 symposium Friday, Feb. 21, in the Judge Karen J. Williams Courtroom at the University of South Carolina School of Law.
The symposium will examine the effects of human trafficking and legal avenues for combating it. Attendees will hear from experts on the complex aspects of labor and sex trafficking and will leave with concrete actions they can employ to help combat trafficking in South Carolina, throughout the nation and around the world.
“Human trafficking knows no demographic,” says Taylor Voegel , editor of the South Carolina Law Review. “Victims of trafficking range from young, vulnerable children to independent and successful adults. Because of its broad nature, we felt it was imperative to bring attention to the subject of human trafficking through this year’s symposium.”
Part of the difficulty in combating human trafficking is the inability to recognize its varied forms. In 2018, the National Human Trafficking Hotline listed sex trafficking as the highest form of human trafficking in South Carolina, with labor trafficking following closely behind. Even when law enforcement gets involved, it can still be extremely difficult to detect human trafficking as victims often will not identify as victims, which makes prosecuting traffickers a difficult task. In 2017, the NHTH reported a 13-percent increase in identified human trafficking cases nationally. However, according to the South Carolina Human Trafficking Task Force, just 13 defendants were charged with human trafficking in 2018.
These issues -- as well as issues surrounding the implementation of statutes to punish traffickers and buyers while protecting victims -- are some of the challenges facing legal community that will be discussed at the symposium.
Speakers include South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson; Judge Michéle Forsythe, Ninth Circuit South Carolina Family Court Judge; and Assistant United States Attorney Elliott Daniels. Panels will include professionals with varying backgrounds to provide diverse information on the anti-trafficking battle, such as knowledge of trafficking entry, the cycle of abuse and ways to exit a trafficking situation.