Senator Dush’s Series of Interviews on Human Trafficking – Marcel Van der Watt

As you may know, January is the month where we focus on International Human Trafficking Awareness, and January 11th is selected for International Human Trafficking Awareness Day. Senator Cris Dush works with many international and state renown organizations that have been fighting Human Trafficking for years.  His recently enacted legislation, Pennsylvania Act 39, depicts his desire to improve victim support and provide the legislation necessary for law enforcement and social services to better assist those who have been trafficked. Furthermore, Senator Dush’s background in law enforcement has allowed him to effectively fight those who are responsible for trafficking innocent children throughout the years. Act 39, signed into law by Governor Shapiro in December 2023, allows victims to now receive social services without having to identify (for whatever reason) their traffickers, protecting victims and helping them to receive assistance and move away from this deadly environment.

In recognition of this important month, Senator Dush will be presenting short synopses of interviews he recently completed with not only victims of Human Trafficking, but also benchmark organizations that are currently fighting Human Trafficking in Pennsylvania and around the world.

Below is his schedule of interviews for January 2024:

Interview Schedule

Today, Senator Dush will be interviewing:

Marcel Van der Watt

Director, Research Institute
National Center on Sexual Exploitation

Marcel van der Watt (Ph.D.) is the Director of the Research Institute at the National Center on Sexual Exploitation in Washington, D.C. He is an internationally accoladed investigative and research professional with more than 20 years of experience in combating the interspersing criminal economies of organized crime, human trafficking, and sexual exploitation. His cumulative experience as a former police investigator, hostage and suicide negotiator, and human trafficking case consultant continues to inform his work. Marcel has consulted in and provided expert court testimony in several sex trafficking cases, and briefed members of the US Congress. His work has been published and presented on international platforms, and he has trained multidisciplinary professionals from more than 30 countries. Marcel is also a Research Fellow at the Free State Centre for Human Rights, University of the Free State (South Africa), and serves on the Executive Committee of the Global Association of Human Trafficking Scholars (GAHTS).

UN Panel Article or Sex Trafficking

For more information, the complete interviews can be viewed here.

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