Raising awareness about the commercial sexual exploitation of children
The Illinois State Bar Association’s Standing Committee on Racial and Ethnic Minorities & the Law, Administrative Law Section Council, and Standing Committee on Women and the Law spearheaded the planning committee for a seminar on the commercial sexual exploitation of children (CSEC). Presented by the law firm of Baker & McKenzie LLP and the Illinois State Bar Association (ISBA), and co-sponsored by the Illinois Judicial Council, Illinois Association of Administrative Law Judges, National Association of Women Judges District 8, Human Trafficking Task Force of the American Bar Association, Black Women Lawyers’ Association of Greater Chicago, Inc., Chicago Bar Association Alliance for Women, Chinese American Bar Association of Greater Chicago, Cook County Bar Association, Hispanic Lawyers Association of Illinois, National Bar Association Region VII, Puerto Rican Bar Association of Illinois, Women’s Bar Association of Illinois, ISBA Administrative Law Section, ISBA Child Law Section, ISBA Human Rights Section, ISBA International & Immigration Law Section, ISBA Standing Committee on Government Lawyers, ISBA Standing Committee on Racial and Ethnic Minorities & the Law, and ISBA Standing Committee on Women and the Law, the October 10, 2014, seminar raised awareness amongst attendees about the issue of human trafficking generally. The focus then shifted to trafficking in the United States and, particularly, in Chicago, with comprehensive information provided about CSEC. The seminar aimed to provide attorneys, social workers, and psychologists with the skills to: recognize the commercial sexual exploitation of children; detect risk factors; identify and effectively engage victims; and provide appropriate help to victims. The seminar also included a panel discussion on the role of the courts in the fight against trafficking.
Featured speakers from several disciplines shed light on the plight of children who are sexually exploited and challenged attendees to make a difference in the fight against human trafficking. The blue-ribbon seminar faculty included keynote speaker Honorable Virginia Kendall, United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Honorable Anita Alvarez, Cook County State’s Attorney; Dr. Maggie Bishay, Therapist, Cornerstone Counseling of Chicago; Victor Boutros, United States Department of Justice, and co-author of The Locust Effect; Honorable William H. Hooks, Circuit Court of Cook County – Criminal Division; Honorable Marilyn F. Johnson, Circuit Court of Cook County, Juvenile Court - Child Protection Division; Detective Al Krok (ret.), Special Investigations Unit, Chicago Police Department; Ngozi Okorafor, Illinois Department of Central Management Services; Dr. Eva Ponder, Clinical Director, Cornerstone Counseling of Chicago; Professor Jody Raphael, DePaul University College of Law; Kimberly Spagui, Administer Justice; and the Director of the Salvation Army Promise Program. Seminar Co-moderators Carol A. Casey, Office of the Public Guardian, and Administrative Law Judge Yolaine M. Dauphin, and Robert E. Deignan, Senior Counsel, Baker & McKenzie LLP, provided opening remarks.
Approximately 130 attorneys, social workers and psychologists attended the October seminar. Through the partnership with Baker & McKenzie LLP, attorneys earned 7 hours of continuing legal education credits. Through a partnership with the Salvation Army Promise Program and Dominican University, social workers,and psychologists in attendance earned 7 continuing education units. Of note, interest in the seminar was high, with registration opening and closing within five days, and there are plans to repeat the program. Most importantly, seminar attendees expressed interest in volunteering to help fight the scourge of human trafficking, particularly as related to the commercial sexual exploitation of children.
Seminar Co-ordinators Administrative Law Judge Yolaine Dauphin and Annemarie E. Kill, Avery Camerlingo & Kill LLC., headed the seminar planning committee whose members included Arlene Barochin, Juliet Boyd, Administrative Law Judge Ann Breen-Greco, Carol Casey, Eulalia De La Rosa, Sharon Eiseman, Angela Evans, Pablo Eves, Eileen Geary, Honorable William Hooks; Lashonda Hunt, Jeffrey J. Koh, Elizabeth McGuan, Suheily Natal, Ngozi C. Okorafor. Dartesia Pitts, Daniel Saeedi, Beatriz Santiago, Administrative Law Judge Theodore Sherrod, Athena Taite, Honorable Carl Walker, and Wiley Adams. Special thanks to ISBA CLE Director Jeanne Heaton, and staff members Staci Howard Curtis and Tiffany Bordenkircher, and to Linda Henrikson of Baker & McKenzie LLP. ■