Expert on Human Trafficking Speaks at Redlands

A researcher and expert on human trafficking and the sex industry is set to discuss her work during a lecture at the University of Redlands.

Helen Atkins will speak Wednesday, Feb. 24 at 7 p.m. in the university’s Casa Loma Room. The event, which is sponsored by the university’s Office of Campus Diversity and Inclusion, is free and open to the public.

Atkins is Existing Prostitution Development Officer at the POPPY Project, an organization that provides services to women who have been trafficked into the United Kingdom to work as prostitutes.

The POPPY Project was established in the United Kingdom in 2003 and is funded by the Office for Criminal Justice Reform. The project works to provide support, including short-term housing and social services, to women involved in prostitution who have been trafficked and need support or advocacy.

Atkins is the co-author of a report released in 2008, which showed that prostitution was widespread in London. The report, which garnered national and international attention, outlined information gathered by researchers posing as customers and contacting more than 900 brothels.

According to the report, sex workers in brothels regularly engaged in high-risk behavior, including unprotected sex, for minimal money.

The report showed that most of the women came from trafficking hot-spots in Eastern Europe and Southeast Asia.

Call the Office of Campus Diversity and Inclusion at 909-748-8285 for more information.

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