A series of in-depth focus groups and an online survey of 157 anti-trafficking advocates around the world revealed that advocates are passionate and committed to their work, but face several barriers that are a persistent source of frustration. Advocates reported they lack targeted training, meaningful connection to experts, knowledge of evidence-based practices, and access to funding and resources to sustain their work. Advocates also report they are often under-paid and undervalued. Despite these frustrations, they still desire to “bring more victims to freedom, traffickers to justice, and survivors to wholeness”. The Emancipation Nation Network was developed to respond to these frustrations. “The Network” is a global organization developed to connect advocates from around the world, via an online network and phone application. As a member of the Network, advocates gain access to human trafficking and social justice focused information, courses, workshops, and can join live events to hear expert speakers each month. Members also have access to assessment and screening tools, human trafficking focused grant proposals, jobs announcements, and are provided titles and abstracts of recently published research articles. Now the solutions to your problems, the barriers to your progress, and the answers to your most pressing questions are at your fingertips. Membership is free, but only to committed advocates. This session will discuss the study findings, explain the Network, and instruct attendees on how to get connected and ways to use the Emancipation Nation Network to meet their needs.
Celia Williamson founded the first anti-trafficking program in Ohio in 1993, published several articles, completed numerous federally funded studies, edited two books on sex trafficking, and recently completed her memoir. Dr. Williamson founded the conference and serves as Director of the Human Trafficking and Social Justice Institute at The University of Toledo.