Academics and Research / News

DU to host religion, human trafficking and slavery conference

DU and the Iliff School of Theology are sponsoring an international conference on Religion, Human Trafficking and Modern Slavery March 31–April 2 on the campuses of the two institutions.

The conference will draw attention to the contemporary problems of human trafficking and slavery and address what faith-based organizations are doing to solve the problem.  

“Human trafficking today, according to United Nations statistics, is a rapidly exploding international scourge that long ago dwarfed the numbers of victims at the height of the trans-Atlantic slave trade two centuries ago,” says Carl Raschke, a DU professor of religious studies. “Governments and law enforcement can only barely begin to deal with the problem. The ‘new abolitionists,’ as they are coming to be called, consist in thousands, if not millions, of private volunteers from different faiths and faith-based organizations. They are mobilizing to fight a citizens’ war at the grass roots against the corrupt governments, private interests and global criminal cartels that have made the degradation of human life and freedom a flourishing industry.”

The keynote speaker will be David Batstone, professor of business ethics at the University of San Francisco and founder of Not for Sale Inc. — the leading global citizens’ network organized to fight human trafficking.  

James Stewart, professor emeritus of history at Macalester College, will give a talk titled “Toward a New Abolitionist Movement: Historical Slavery, Contemporary Slavery, and the Religious Imagination” at 7 p.m. March 31 in Sturm Hall’s Lindsay Auditorium. The talk is free and open to the public, but registration is requested.

For more information or to register, visit or contact DU’s Office of Special Community Programs at or 303-871-2360. 

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