Stanford Students Engage the Anti-Trafficking Community


The reality of human trafficking and issues surrounding the U.S. State Department’s annual Trafficking in Persons Report (TIP Report) took center stage at Stanford University last week.

On Wednesday, November 29th, former TIP Ambassador Susan Coppedge and the Human Trafficking Institute’s John Richmond met with Stanford students to discuss combatting human trafficking through diplomacy. The Human Trafficking Institute and Stanford Law School co-sponsored the event, with assistance from International Justice Mission and Stanford in Government.

Ambassador Coppedge is the former United States Ambassador-at-Large to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons.  She spoke at length on the international response to stop human trafficking, and the benefits and challenges of the TIP Report, which ranks countries based on their efforts to stop human trafficking. Richmond moderated the discussion and presented facts on the growing human trafficking industry.

Both Stanford undergraduates and law school students attended the event, many of whom had little to no exposure to trafficking beforehand. Several Stanford students provided responses to the presentation:

“Having John and Ambassador Coppedge in the same room was an incredible opportunity to get both hands-on data about the scope of the challenges [with human trafficking] and a higher-level perspective about policy strategies to address them.” – Peter Gilchrist, 2L at Stanford Law School

“While the number of worldwide human trafficking victims that John Cotton Richmond shared was staggering, it was encouraging to hear that the TIP Report spearheaded by Ambassador Coppedge at the State Department has generated positive responses from the international community, resulting in greater protections for victims and prosecutions of traffickers.” – Eleanor Anthony, 2L at Stanford Law School

Stanford Law student Katherine Carey coordinated the event. Carey is a member of the Human Trafficking Institute’s 2017-2018 Douglass Fellows cohort. As part of the program, Douglass Fellows organize an advocacy event at their academic institutions to raise awareness about trafficking, provide accurate and compelling information to the community and inspire others to work to decimate the prevalence of human trafficking. Read more about the Douglass Fellowship here.

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Jonathan Roberts

Jonathan Roberts

Prior to his role at the Institute, Jonathan was a Research Fellow at the Greater Mekong Research Center, a public policy think-tank in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. There, he conducted research on the political economy and development outlook of Southeast Asia. He is particularly interested in institutional reform and the rule of law in developing countries. Jonathan holds degrees from Seattle Pacific University and the Université Lumière Lyon II in France. He speaks English and French.