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Source: Ariel Anib, ariel957@k-state.edu
Photo available. Download at http://www.k-state.edu/media/newsreleases/mar11/anib.jpg
News release prepared by: Rosie Hoefling, 785-532-2535, media@k-state.edu

Thursday, March 17, 2011

OLATHE SENIOR TAKES LEGISLATIVE LOOK AT HUMAN TRAFFICKING, ORGANIZES STOP SLAVERY SUMMIT

MANHATTAN -- A Kansas State University senior is taking her research on human trafficking outside the classroom and comparing it to existing Kansas laws.

Ariel Anib, senior in pre-law and criminology, Olathe, has been conducting research on human trafficking since her freshman year at K-State. Specifically she's investigating what the government, nonprofit organizations and student initiatives are doing about the issue. More recently her research has focused on laws in Kansas that coincide with human trafficking.

"We're finding that prostitution laws in Kansas contradict statutory rape laws," Anib said. "If you are sex trafficked and you're being forced to prostitute, you're being prosecuted for prostitution rather than being treated as a minor who has been raped."

Anib also has been researching legislation in other states that could be implemented in Kansas, specifically the New York Safe Harbor for Exploited Children Act that directly fights human trafficking.

"We're trying to see what it would look like if a law like that were passed in Kansas," Anib said. "However, passing a whole new law is a lot of work and takes a lot of time. So now we're trying to look more in depth at existing laws in Kansas to see if there's one that combats human trafficking but isn't being used. Perhaps there's an amendment we can make to a current law to help fight the issue."

Anib plans to further her research by interviewing various law enforcement officials, attorneys and nonprofit organizations in the state to raise awareness and create a collaborative effort to fight the issue of human trafficking.

In conjunction with her research, Anib is organizing an awareness event about human trafficking called Stop Slavery Summit 2011. The event is sponsored by K-Staters that Care, an organization she founded that brings together several on-campus groups that are impacting K-State but that have very limited resources. The organization sponsors an event each year to raise awareness about an issue of choice.

The Stop Slavery Summit 2011 will be April 6-8 and will feature a variety of on-campus events, including guest lecturers, a benefit concert, a memorial walk and a rave to save.

Anib said she hopes the summit and her research will continue to raise awareness about human trafficking and make people realize that they are the solution.

"One of my biggest hopes is that people in Kansas, and especially at K-State, will realize that human trafficking is a problem and that it affects them," she said. "As university students, I think we can go one of two ways: we are either apathetic and think it doesn't affect us; or we go the opposite way and say, 'Oh, my gosh, there's so much stuff around us that's going on.'

"I just want to draw the attention of my fellow students to this issue and show them we're the ones who have to do something about it."

Anib is in K-State's Developing Scholars Program and is conducting her research with Nadezda Shapkina, assistant professor of sociology. Anib is a 2008 graduate of Olathe East High School.