Lowell Lecture

Human Trafficking and Forced Labor: Challenges and Opportunities in Combatting a Global Phenomenon

Date & Time

Sept. 21, 2023 at 12:20 p.m. - 1:40 p.m.


Suffolk University
Somerset Building, Room 114
20 Somerset Street Boston, MA 02108
Driving Directions


Hila Shamir, S.J.D., Tel Aviv University Faculty of Law and Fellow, Center for Labor & A Just Economy at Harvard Law School and Renee Landers, Professor, Suffolk University Law School.

Presenting Organization

Ford Hall Forum at Suffolk University


Susan H. Spurlock (sspurlock@suffolk.edu, 617 504-7297)

Human trafficking is widely regarded as one of the most urgent moral and political dilemmas in today's global economy. In her talk, Professor Shamir will call for a shift away from the prevailing anti-trafficking strategies focused on criminal law, border control, and minimal human rights safeguards for recognized victims. Instead, she will advocate for an innovative labor-centered approach, aiming to dismantle the labor market structures conducive to grave exploitative practices. The labor-focused approach stresses the necessity of solutions tailored to the contextual variability of factors contributing to worker vulnerability. Certain existing tools show initial promise in reshaping the power dynamics among actors within sectors predisposed to severe labor market abuses. Following her talk, Shamir will be joined in conversation with Renée M. Landers, Professor of Law and Faculty Director of the Health and Biomedical Law concentration at Suffolk University. Audience Q and A will follow.