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Contact: Stephen J. Hudik

Contact: Paul C. DiNero

Kean University To Host International Human Rights Conference On Modern Slavery

UNION - Kean University’s Human Rights Institute will host a conference on Slavery in the Twenty-first Century on Friday, February 13 from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. in Wilkins Theatre. The all-day conference will feature addresses by Ishmael Beah, former child soldier and author of A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier, and Dr. Kevin Bales, President of Free the Slaves and author of the critically acclaimed Disposable People: New Slavery in the Global Economy.

"Our university is committed to raising awareness of ongoing human rights violations taking place around the world," said Kean University President Dawood Farahi. "It is our responsibility to educate others about the reality of modern slavery and how we can mobilize to end these injustices and bonds affecting more than 27 million people today."

According to Free the Slaves, more than 27 million individuals are enslaved throughout the world, with the majority in India and African countries. Human-trafficking is the modern-day slave trade. Free the Slaves estimates that at least 14,500 slaves are brought into the United States each year.

The morning session will include eyewitness accounts and perspectives from leading experts on various aspects of modern slavery. Speakers include:

The afternoon session will include a roundtable discussion with several speakers, including:

Kean University’s Human Rights Institute sponsored its first conference in 2008 on Darfur. A new addition to the Nancy Thompson Library will open this fall and house the Human Rights Institute. The Institute aims to raise awareness of human rights violations worldwide among the general public, teachers and students. The Institute’s goals are to combat genocide and promote conflict resolution through wide-ranging activities, including conferences, seminars, teacher training and curricula development for New Jersey schoolchildren. The new home will include a state-of-art gallery to highlight issues, artwork and publications related to human rights violations and victories around the world.

The human rights conference is free and open to the public. Seating is limited and advanced registration is required at