Book Talk with alpha Kappa Delta Phi at GMU

IMG_1574.JPGDr. Mehlman-Orozco had a productive book talk, teaching the ladies of alpha Kappa Delta Phi at GMU on how to identify the red flags of human trafficking. Behind the headlines, the true life stories of human trafficking victimizations will beggar belief. #aKDPhi Sisters are now equipped with the fundamental knowledge needed to become a modern day abolitionist.

“Thank you so much for your presentation yesterday, we all learned a lot and are very happy we were able to meet you and hear more about your book.

I started reading your book last night and it was so hard to force myself to stop to go to sleep, I am really glad we have the break now so that I can spend more time reading it!”


Teaching at GMU

This week concludes Dr. Mehlman-Orozco’s fall semester teaching for the Criminology, Law and Society Department at George Mason University. Her course, CRIM 308 Human Rights and Justice, included a unit on human trafficking. Students learned about methods of recruitment and control used by human traffickers and justice issues faced by survivors (e.g. erroneous criminalization and denial of services), as well as implementation gaps of anti-trafficking legislation.

The course instruction was well received, prompting messages of thanks from students:

Spring 2017, Dr. Mehlman-Orozco will be teaching CRIM 405 Law and Justice Around the World, which will include a unit on international human trafficking.

Advocating for Evidence-Based Anti-Trafficking Intervention

In 1966, President John F. Kennedy said, “Few men are willing to brave the disapproval of their peers, the censure of their colleagues, the wrath of their society. Moral courage is a rarer commodity than bravery in battle or great intelligence. Yet it is the one essential, vital quality for those who seek to change a world that yields most painfully to change.”

This quote is as true today, as it was forty years ago.

Unfortunately, anti-trafficking advocates and legislators continue to regularly disseminate and rely on myths in their advocacy work. Instead of being open to third party evaluation and correction, they continue to be defensive and recalcitrant to change. Perhaps this is because they are protecting their projected image and access to funding, but the reality is that the perpetuation of misinformation leads to ineffective anti-trafficking policy and wasted resources.

As someone who is deeply committed to anti-trafficking advocacy, I have made it my personal mission to have moral courage and brave the disapproval of my peers, the censure of my colleagues, and the wrath of my society in disseminating evidence based information in my anti-trafficking work. I do this because I truly believe that this is an essential, vital quality for combating the human trafficking scourge in the United States.

Here are a few unsupported facts, which I heard most recently from the keynote speaker at an anti-trafficking summit yesterday. I think everyone is guilty (including myself) of citing them at one point or another; however, we should all strive for improvement.

Please click on the hyperlink for more information on each debunked fact:

MYTH 1: Safe harbor laws protect minor victims of sex trafficking from being criminalized.

MYTH 2: Prevalence of juvenile sex trafficking in the United States (100k or 300k).

MYTH 3: Average age of sex trafficked minors is 12-14 years old.

Other Debunked Facts

MYTH 4: Human trafficking is a ‘$9.5 billion business’ in the United States.

MYTH 5: Prevalence of sex traffickers arrested in the United States.

MYTH 6: Prevalence of human trafficking in the world (27 million).

MYTH 7: We know what intervention strategies work for reducing sex trafficking.



SI Alexandria Presentation

Dr. Kimberly Mehlman-Orozco presented on human trafficking at Soroptimist International Alexandria’s speaker dinner meeting on April 26, 2016.


Reservations Information:
Contact: Sylvia Wintering at
Speaker Dinner Date: April 26, 2016
Location: 8301 Springfield Golf and Country Club
Springfield,VA 22152
Time: 6:00 pm Social
6:30 pm Dinner
Cost: $36.
Reservations deadline: April 22, 2016