Taking a Step Back

Formulating an action-framework to prevent human trafficking

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Read the final report:

"Taking a Step Back: A one-day workshop
to begin formulating a comprehensive action-framework
to prevent human trafficking."

On July 11, 2017, Catholic Relief Services and The Center for Civil and Human Rights co-convened a gathering of university researchers, CRS global field officers, civil society actors and government partners. The goal of the meeting was to discuss how best to integrate academic research with on-the-ground experience in order to ameliorate the root causes of human trafficking. The event was held at CRS headquarters in Baltimore, Maryland.


“Taking a Step Back: A one-day workshop to begin formulating a comprehensive action-framework to prevent human trafficking” brought together the expertise of CRS technical advisors, program managers and policy experts with academic experts from the University of Notre Dame, St. John’s University, and the Catholic University of America. Also included in the discussion were representatives from the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. Structured around both small group and roundtable discussion formats, the assembled group queried the role of research, the lessons drawn from site-specific field work, and how best to develop a prevention-based approach to human trafficking.

The workshop’s keynote address was delivered by Dr. Angela Reed, RSM, a Melbourne Sister of Mercy currently based at the United Nations, who presented her research with trafficking survivors in the Philippines, and a new theoretical framework, the “Optimal Life Course Conditions (OLCC) Approach.” Dr. Reed aims through her human rights-based framework to identify key life conditions that indicate heightened vulnerability to trafficking. The address was made available live to a worldwide audience via Facebook. Responses were given by Dr. Lucy Y. Steinitz, Senior Technical Advisor for Protection at Catholic Relief Services; Sanjana Das, Technical Advisor to CRS’s Women & Child Protection programs in India; and Julie Short-Echalar, Program Officer in the Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons at the U.S. Department of State.

The keynote address, and responses, can be viewed below. Also available here is the graphic presentation that accompanied Dr. Reed’s presentation. Responses can be found at the following times in the video:

Dr. Lucy Steinitz: 54:00

Julie Short-Echalar: 1:03:20

Sanjana Das: 1:09:50


A collection of additional readings and Web resources is also available here.