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Lawyering for Child Victims of Human Trafficking

February 8, 2013 @ 8:30 am - 3:30 pm


On Friday, February 8th in Dallas, attendees joined the American Bar Association and Children at Risk to hear from our nation’s legal experts on child trafficking. Discussions included child trafficking fundamentals, representing child victims in dependency and delinquency proceedings, practical considerations in representation, safe harbor laws, and integration of supportive housing for child victims of human trafficking.

The event was packed with many speakers and topics:

Welcoming Remarks — Laurel Bellows, President, American Bar Association, Robert Schwartz, Chair, Commission on Youth at Risk (Moderator) and Bob Sanborn, President and CEO, Children At Risk

Child Trafficking Fundamentals

Human Trafficking of Children 101 (Sexual and Labor), Mary Ellison, J.D. Director of Policy, Polaris Project, Washington, DC

The Law According to the Texas Supreme Court: In re. B.W., Ann Johnson, J.D. The Johnson Law Firm, Houston

Ethical Issues in Representing Child/Youth Trafficking Victims, Ann Johnson, J.D. The Johnson Law Firm, Houston

Dependency and Delinquency: The Response to Child Victims in Texas and Other States

The GIRLS Court, A Specialty Docket for Child Victims of Human Trafficking, Judge Angela Ellis, 315th Juvenile District Court, Harris County

Models for Child Welfare and Juvenile Justice System Responses, Howard Davidson, J.D. Director, ABA Center on Children and the Law, Washington, DC, Angela Vigil, J.D. Baker & McKenzie LLP, Miami

Practical Considerations in Representation

How to Know if Your Child Client is a Victim of Human Trafficking Brooke Robb, J.D., Assistant Criminal District Attorney, Dallas County

Obtaining Expungement of Juvenile Prostitution-Related Records, Mary Ellison, J.D. Director of Policy, Polaris Project, Washington, DC

Advocating for Non-Citizen Victim Youth and Their Families, Laura G. Burstein, J.D. Legal Director, Mosaic Family Services, Dallas

Shutting Down Establishments that Permit or Facilitate Child Trafficking, Melissa Miles, J.D. Senior Assistant City Attorney, City of Dallas

Prosecuting Traffickers and the Role of an Attorney for the Child Victim in Criminal Cases, Sherri Zack, J.D. Assistant U.S. Attorney, U.S. DOJ Southern District of Texas, Human Trafficking Rescue Alliance, Houston

Closing Remarks and Completion of Morning Evaluations


Speaker: George Sheldon, Asst. Secretary for Children and Families, U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services

Safe Harbor Laws and Integration of Supportive Housing for Victims of Human Trafficking

Human Trafficking and Homelessness – Supportive Housing as Model Solution Richard Hooks Wayman, J.D., Executive Director, Hearth Connection, Saint Paul, MN

Model State Safe Harbor Laws: Aligning Supportive Services and Housing Assistance Kathryn Richtman, J.D., Ramsey County’s Attorney’s Office, Saint Paul, MN

Implementing Best Practices in Community-Based Social Services to Victims, Laura Burstein, J.D., Mosaic Family Services, Dallas, TX

Uniform Law Commission and Drafting a Model Safe Harbor Law, Mary C. Ellison, J.D., Director of Policy, Polaris Project, Washington, D.C. Questions,

Discussion, Closing Remarks, and Completion of Afternoon Evaluations

Organized by: the ABA Commission on Youth at Risk, Commission on Homelessness and Poverty, Center on Children and the Law, and CHILDREN AT RISK

Co-Sponsored by: the ABA Task Force on Human Trafficking, Center for Human Rights, Commission on Domestic and Sexual Violence, Commission on Immigration



February 8, 2013
8:30 am - 3:30 pm
Event Category:


Renaissance Dallas Hotel
2222 Stemmons Freeway
Dallas, TX 75207 United States