CdeBaca informs students about fight against human trafficking

Ellen Bombela

In honor of human trafficking awareness month, an alum spoke to ISU’s campus on how to make a difference.

On Tuesday night in the Sun Room in the Memorial Union, Luis CdeBaca, who leads the Department of Justice Office of Sex Offender Sentencing, Monitoring, Apprehending, Registering and Tracking (SMART), spoke to an audience about many different issues including human trafficking, slavery, abuse and exploitation.

CdeBaca started the lecture by talking about sex offenders. Instead of focusing solely on the crimes that the sex offenders commited, he also talked about the sex offender registry.

CdeBaca stated that a lot of crimes could be, and have been, prevented by being able to know where those offenders are. CdeBaca said that the registries need to be kept track of better so that they can continue to monitor those individuals.

CdeBaca also spoke about how sex offenders should be treated when they are entering a community.

“We have to confront the fact that it’s time for some of these people to get out [of prison],” CdeBaca said, as he shared an example of an offender who was being released from prison and re-entering his community. “We can either just shun that person, or we can come up with a way to bring them back in, maybe even welcome them back in.”

CdeBaca then went on to talk about human trafficking, and how it is a hidden crime.

“It is there, if we only start listening for the voices of its victims, for the voices of survivors,” said CdeBaca.

CdeBaca quoted Secretary of State John Kerry when he said “If the cries of those enslaved around the world were an earthquake, the tremors would be felt in every single nation on every continent simultaneously.”

CdeBaca concluded the lecture by talking about abuse and exploitation and shared examples of different instances where young women had been sold to wealthy people as maids and had been abused and treated very poorly.

While there are still a lot of these types of crimes going on out in the world, CdeBaca stressed that there are lots of improvements going on.

“It is not enough to merely raise awareness of human trafficking, if that awareness is not harnessed to link those who need help with those who report to help them,” said CdeBaca.

Kate Stewart, a freshman in global resource systems who attended the event, said that the event was very interesting.

“I thought it was interesting how he shared a lot of examples and referenced other people that he has worked with along the way, in their effort to end human trafficking,” said Stewart.