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TU Talk to focus on human trafficking

The next installment in the TU Talk series will focus on the issue of human trafficking. Juhaina Soares, TU Admissions Associate, will present “Human Trafficking in your Backyard: Examining the Localization of Human Trafficking in Georgia and Florida” at noon Tuesday, April 21, in the Flowers Foods Executive Classroom inside Smith-Bonvillian Hall on TU’s Main Campus.

“My interest in trafficking stems from my multicultural roots,” Soares said. “It’s watching and hearing stories of forced labor, sexual and child abuse indirectly from my immediate surroundings in the Middle East and in Asia that piqued my interest towards human rights issues. I started reading non-fiction books and watching documentaries on trafficking, which fueled my interest towards the covert yet widespread phenomenon.”

Soares, who has both Portuguese and Indian heritage, lived most of her life in the Middle East. She graduated from high school in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Soares completed her undergraduate degree in Pune, India, before moving to the United States five years ago. She’s now a graduate student at Valdosta State University.

Soares originally chose the topic human trafficking for her master’s degree thesis. She decided to localize it to Georgia and Florida because of the proximity to Thomasville and Valdosta.

“People need to learn about human trafficking because it exists,” Soares said. “Most people who know about trafficking are either directly or indirectly affected by it. These situations could be avoided. More importantly, these situations can be reported as they happen so close to home. It’s better to be safe than sorry.”

Presented by the Thomas University Library, TU Talks are free and open to the public.

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