In our house, a lecture scheduled for tonight—on human trafficking—is getting a lot of attention. In fact, 75 percent of our household plans to attend; will you be there?

Speaking at the ASU College of Law will be ASU’s Professor Charles Katz. His topic is documenting and analyzing human trafficking. The school says he will “talk about his research on human trafficking and its policy implications, including his research in Central America and the Caribbean and his experiences posing as a client to gather firsthand information on trafficking practices in the Philippines.”

The event is tonight, Wednesday March 14, with a reception at 6:00 p.m. and a presentation followed by questions from 6:15 to 7:30 p.m. in the Faculty Center at the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law.

For more information or to RSVP, email

I have covered human trafficking before; in fact, ASU Law School put on a great conference on the topic last March.

But at home this spring, we’ve been privileged to watch our daughter Willa put together a paper and presentation on the topic of “Prostitution in Ancient Rome and India” (kids, these days). She’s a high school sophomore, and her work and what she found were both amazing (permit me a little gushing).

One of the facts she discussed was the relationship of prostitution to human trafficking. For example, during the heyday of the British East India Company, prostitution was actively supported, almost as a foreign policy. The large numbers of British nationals in India wanted to partake, but many preferred lighter-skinned women. Their interests were obliged by the massive transport of women to the country from as far abroad as England and Japan.

Deep-seated history such as that makes today’s problem a global and intractable challenge. I’m curious to hear about Professor Katz’s own experiences, especially undercover, to examine the problem.

Charles M. Katz

Katz is the Watts Family Director of the Center for Violence Prevention and Community Safety at ASU.

More information on the Center is here.

And here is more on Professor Katz and his work:

“Much of Charles M. Katz’s work focuses on police and prosecutorial transformation and strategic responses to crime. From 2004-10, Katz worked under contract with the Ministry of nation al Security of the republic of Trinidad and Tobago to develop a comprehensive strategic plan to address the nation’s gang problem, including the creation and training of a police gang unit, homicide unit and crime analysis unit. He also worked with the organization of American States to understand the crime problem in the Caribbean and develop a regionally-based response to gangs. From 2006-10, Katz served on the field team and methodological development team to evaluate human trafficking in Cebu, Philippines. He is currently involved in three projects in Central America and the Caribbean—examining the trafficking of persons by El Salvadorian gangs to the united States, assessing citizen insecurity throughout the Caribbean, including an assessment of police and prosecutorial capacity to respond to crime, and diagnosing the gang problem in seven Eastern Caribbean nations.”

Willa, Kathy and I hope to see you tonight.