Harvard Kennedy School Hosts First Intercollegiate Convention Against Modern Slavery

By Davina P. Durgana, PhD and Diana Sheedy

The Intercollegiate Coalition Against Modern Slavery (ICAMS) convened a powerful event at Harvard Kennedy School that brought together leaders in the anti-slavery field and engaged student leaders committing to working on this issue, including survivors, students, and practitioners from diverse backgrounds.

Representatives and leaders from Walk Free Foundation, Shared Hope International, Polaris, Deloitte, Boston Police Department, International Justice Mission (IJM), and others presented on various topics related to their anti-slavery initiatives and provided critical feedback to students presenting their ideas on how to best contribute to the field.

The program was designed to turn knowledge into action and started on an inspirational note and to exhort everyone to serve this mission in whatever capacity they can. Walk Free Foundation participated on a morning panel entitled “Non-Traditional Forms of Exploitation” alongside colleagues from IJM, the Initiative Against Human Trafficking and Modern Slavery, Verité and Deloitte. This panel discussed emerging domestic and international trends of exploitation that render measurement difficult such as child cybersex exploitation in the Philippines. Our advisory panel responded to the many insightful questions and points raised by the students in attendance such as how technology is both posing a larger challenge but could also be a larger part of the solution.

Issues of exploitation are constantly evolving and ICAMS has taken this first step to ensure their solutions are as informed and innovative as possible. ICAMS is bringing together the network and keeping survivor voices at the core of their work.

This convening was an important inaugural event for the Intercollegiate Coalition Against Modern Slavery as it prepares to develop a long-term and sustainable network of collegiate students across the United States to meaningfully collaborate with one another and professionals on anti-slavery initiatives. More initiatives are imminent, but include efforts to visually represent networks and accurately map how stakeholders fighting exploitation are connected. Please contact icams.network@gmail.com or visit https://icams.network to learn more.