Episode 153 - Dr. Noël Busch-Armendariz and Laurie Cook Heffron: Modern Slavery: Social Work's Role in Addressing Human Trafficking

Monday, October 13, 2014, 8:04:28 AM

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The United Nations Global Initiative to Fight Human Trafficking estimates that there as many as 2.5 million people in forced labor at any given time. The U.S. State Department estimates that between 600,000 and 800,000 people are trafficked across international borders each year. There may be as many as 27 million slaves in the world today. In this episode, Dr. Noël Busch-Armendariz and Ms. Laurie Cook Heffron examine these disturbing issues and describe social work's role in addressing them.

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Average Rating: 5stars  eye opening topic that touches nearly every consumer , Wednesday, February 10, 2021

By Dawn Freeman :

Before listening to this episode, I knew human trafficking existed but thought it wasn’t as wide spread and all-encompassing as it is. The explanation given of what human trafficking is and includes is gut-wrenching to think about. I always believed the main component of human trafficking is moving people across international borders for the benefit of some overseer. However, it isn’t. This episode does an exceptional job at conceptualizing human trafficking as forced fraud or coercion. A definition that opens up human trafficking to everything from sex work, the clothes I buy, the products I consume, and the services I use, to the construction sites I walk by and the rarely seen cleaning personal that maintain the places I work or stay. I was struck by the similarities between human trafficking and victims/survivors of domestic abuse in regards to the coercive tactics used to keep people in control. Coercion inhibits a person’s ability to ask for help or realize there is help out there. The interviewees mention that many victims of human trafficking have been touched by a social worker at some point in their lives, therefore knowing the signs of human trafficking, regardless of the clientele you work with, will go a long way to not only help victims but stop perpetrators. This was a powerful episode and a call to action. Thank you!

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Average Rating: 4stars  very informative! , Sunday, February 10, 2019

By Regan :

I really enjoyed this podcast! The information shared by Dr. Busch-Armendariz and Ms. Heffron about human trafficking was very informative and also incredibly eye-opening. These women deconstructed this topic in a very clear and useful way. As someone with very surface-level knowledge of human trafficking, I had no idea it encompassed such a large population and took on so many forms. I was also shocked to learn how many people are affected by or are victims of trafficking and, especially, how domestic it can be. Like Dr. Weaver admitted, I always envisioned trafficking to be something that happens very far away from me and my primary association with it has always been related to sex trafficking. I was glad Dr. Busch-Armendariz and Ms. Heffron clarified trafficking doesn’t just refer to sex trafficking but relates to anyone exploited through force, coercion or fraud. One of the facts that shocked me most was the type of trafficking that can happen in plain sight and how I’ve surely been connected to without realizing. I also learned how the cycle of fraud, force and coercion used by perpetrators can be so complex and so personal that victims feel helpless to escape.
I was grateful Dr. Busch-Armendariz and Ms. Heffron gave social workers ways to help eliminate trafficking. While the women eluded to other resources social workers can explore, I would have loved to have had more information in this podcast about how to apply this knowledge to daily life, particularly how to identify signs of human trafficking in daily life and how to communicate with someone you suspect might be a victim of trafficking. Because human trafficking is so prevalent and can be so local, tools to help social workers know what to look for, how to talk to victims and what steps can be taken to help bring them to freedom would help equip us to be great frontline workers.
I feel much more knowledgeable about human trafficking and my role in helping to eliminate it. Thank you!

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Average Rating: 5stars  podcast on human trafficking , Monday, November 05, 2018

By MM :

This podcast centering around human trafficking in the U.S. was positively informative in my opinion. While I had previously thought I was familiar with aspects of the topic, there were multiple facets that were brought into the conversation that I had never thought about or had not discussed in previous conversations about trafficking. I live in an area in the U.S. where there is a sadly alarming rate of human trafficking along our major highways at truck stops where vulnerable individuals are picked up by semi-truck drivers, but that does not mean that other types of trafficking are inexistent, which is important to keep in mind when being watchful for possible incidents of human trafficking. I also appreciated the interviewers questions to Noel and Laurie, because they were all questions that were lingering in my mind throughout the interview. Not only were a lot of different areas discussed, it was also refreshing to hear about the progress that has been made as well as where social workers can go from here.

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Average Rating: 5stars  a lot of great information on human trafficking, Monday, February 02, 2015

By Lindsay McLaughlin :

I felt that this podcast had a lot of great information on human trafficking, especially for someone (such as myself) who does not have a lot of knowledge on the subject. Dr. Busch-Armendariz and Laurie Cook Heffron take the time to talk about the reality of the situation and how close to home it really is for social workers not just internationally, but in America as well. They discuss the scope of the problem, and give insight into what is actually considered human trafficking, which is a larger definition than one might think.
Laurie and Noel also discuss what social workers can do to help combat this issue, and stress that just being more aware of the issue and understanding what human trafficking looks like can be really helpful to these individuals. Overall, I thought that this was an excellent podcast for someone who wishes to know more on this subject as well as what they can do as a social worker, or a citizen, to fight against this issue.

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Average Rating: 4stars  shocking trafficking issue, Sunday, February 01, 2015

By Anonymous :

I would first like to say that I found this to be very informative, in that I learned some things that I was not aware of. I realized human trafficking is an issue, but I always related it to the sexual basis, I was not aware that there was a labor sector. It is sad and does not surprise me that the people that come here from Mexico are some of the people who suffer from this labor trafficking. It just goes back to what Dr. Busch-Armendariz and Cook Heffron said, that one of the values of the U.S. is freedom of all people. Also, it is terrible to see how prevalent it is that children are involved, like the runaway youth and the left behind children. This makes me think of the children I see at my internship and it is very disturbing to think of them as having to experience trafficking like situations. However, this just empowers me to educate my clients and possibly those who are not my clients on this issue and how prevalent it actually is. I do not think many people understand the seriousness or the concept of this issue and it is important that it be addressed. It is comforting to know that there are things being done, like the website consumers are able to look up the details on how their products are made and by whom they are made.

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DISCLAIMER: The content shared by the presenter(s) and/or interviewer(s) of each podcast is their own and not necessarily representative of any views, research, or practice from the UB School of Social Work or the inSocialWork® podcast series.