Forensic Fridays Session Addresses Human Trafficking

According to the National Human Trafficking Resource Center, nearly 23,000 cases have been opened since 2007, with more than 4,000 of them this year alone. In Pennsylvania, 75 cases involving up to 662 victims were opened in 2015.

To offer a better understanding of this increasingly concerning crime and what is being done in the region to bring perpetrators to justice and meet the medical and psychological needs of victims, the Wecht Institute of Forensic Science and Law at Duquesne University will present Human Trafficking: Investigation, Screening and Victim Services on Friday, Jan. 15, from 1 to 4:30 p.m. in the Union's Africa Room.

"When most of us hear the phrase 'human trafficking,' we assume it's being used in reference to some far-off country or long-ago time," said Ben Wecht, program coordinator for the Wecht Institute. "In fact, modern-day slavery-much of it for the purposes of conducting prostitution-is very much a problem here and now."
Featured presenters at Human Trafficking: Investigation, Screening and Victim Services include:

  • Judy Hale Reed, attorney and member of the Western Pennsylvania Anti-Trafficking Coalition
  • Dr. Elizabeth Miller, chief of the Division of Adolescent and Young Adult Medicine at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh
  • Jessica Smolar, deputy chief of the Civil Rights, Exploitation and Corruption Section and the Project Safe Child coordinator for the office of the U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Pennsylvania.

This program, which will be offered both onsite and online for relevant professionals, offers three hours of substantive Continuing Legal Education credit, and will also offer nursing and social work continuing education credit.

For more information, including cost and registration, visit, email or call 412.396.1330.

Duquesne University

Founded in 1878, Duquesne is consistently ranked among the nation's top Catholic universities for its award-winning faculty and tradition of academic excellence. Duquesne, a campus of nearly 9,500 graduate and undergraduate students, has been nationally recognized for its academic programs, community service and commitment to sustainability. Follow Duquesne University on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.