Contentious Dialogues for Social Justice: An Intervention on Sex Trafficking and Sexual Assault

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Click on image or title to read full text.
By Bianca Arredondo, Lawrence Chen, Margarita Consing, Carmen Griffin, Sharmila Nasrin, Elizabeth Nielsen, Max Smith, Daniyal Tahir, Marley Walker, Miao Zi Wee


Although the topic of sex trafficking is not a defined United Nations Millennium Development Goal, our group decided that this subject was an important issue that needed to be addressed. Sex trafficking is a problem everywhere in the world including the United States. To examine this issue further, our group compared the differences in sex trafficking between the East and the West by researching the capitals of Washington D.C. in the United States and Bangkok in Thailand. To spread awareness of this critical global problem, the group decided to host a dialogue, where discussion was opened to include the issue of sexual assault. Addressing sexual assault as well as sex trafficking made it easier to relate the topic of discussion to the University of Michigan community, and specifically, to the students who attended the dialogue. This allowed for a more complex conversation with what we hoped would be a larger group of participants. This paper will outline the global problem of sex trafficking as it relates to our group’s research on Bangkok and Washington D.C. It also includes the research we conducted during the previous semester in the literature review. It contains the methodology which was undertaken in order to put on the dialogue and assess participant feedback as well as the results of our intervention in the manner they were recorded. Finally, this paper outlines the limitations and difficulties that went along with the intervention and suggests areas that could have been improved on and that will hopefully be incorporated in future dialogues.


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