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June 3, 2020

Recommendations for the International Community on Countering Human Trafficking in the Balkans

Stanford University’s Ford Dorsey Master’s in International Policy













A team of students from Stanford University’s Ford Dorsey Master’s in International Policy provided recommendations for the international community on countering human trafficking in the Balkans under the direction of Dr. Francis Fukuyama, Olivier Nomellini Senior Fellow at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies (FSI), and Dr. Jeremy Weinstein, Professor of Political Science and Senior Fellow at FSI.


Human Trafficking is a serious impediment to peace and security globally and the Balkans has been identified as an area of transit and destination. Students addressed the root causes that underlie human trafficking and how the international community can support actions to counter human trafficking in the region, with a particular focus on women and girls.


The international community's approach to countering human trafficking has been guided by its formal policy endorsed by Allies in 2004. Given developments over the last 15 years, there is an opportunity to enhance effectiveness in this area, including through consideration of emerging challenges and the multifaceted realities that come with the issue. As the international community begins to lay the groundwork for an update to its policy, it is working to collect innovative ideas and recommendations directly from the field.


Deliverables and Impact

Stanford University Ford Dorsey Master's in International Policy Students provided recommendations related to the issue of human trafficking tailored for the international community's needs. To do so, students developed a “Countering Human Trafficking in the Balkans Strategy”, which includes milestones, measurable key performance indicators (KPIs), recommendations and political statements for the Heads of States and Government and resources for the international community's further work on the issue. The Strategy also addresses ways the international community can cooperate with the UN and other international organizations on the issue and will build on their existing documents and practices, while considering specific defense perspectives and needs.



This research has given us the opportunity to learn from so many incredible women leading the charge to combat trafficking from here in the U.S. and in Europe. We met trailblazer women who have founded nonprofits and done incredible work fighting for women and girls. It’s been particularly meaningful to conduct this important work in the midst of the global Covid 19 crisis, which has laid bare deep global inequalities

Julia Neusner

Stanford Law School 
Ford Dorsey Program in International Policy


The Report

Recommendations for The International Community:

Combating Trafficking in Human Beings for Sexual Exploitation in the Western Balkans

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Key Recommendations

The Stanford University Freeman Spogli Institute team proposes a “Theory of Change” to the international community focused on structural and public relations interventions to promote increased coordination leading to increased prosecution of human trafficking perpetrators. These interventions include simulated trainings and procedure standardization to enhance coordination between local law enforcement and judicial bodies; raising demand-side awareness on human trafficking; and the publicization of reporting channels through the creation of information campaigns and nationalized hotlines. Already high-level members of the international community, including NATO, are reviewing these recommendations in light of their policy decisions going forward.


You have come upon what we have identified as root causes in terms of gender inequality being the driving force to sex trafficking, which is where we as NATO have primarily looked. I am interested in your recommendations…in terms of international organizations working together, and I think that is key to the work that we will be pursuing over the next year on how we work with our international partners…we will certainly be looking at some of the information

in your report.

Clare Hutchinson

Special Representative for Women,

Peace, and Security NATO


Distinguished Speakers for our Virtual Event:


Her Excellency Mrs. Maryam bint Abdullah al-Attiyah, Secretary-General of the National Human Rights Committee of the State of Qatar

Before she became Secretary-General, H.E. Mrs. Maryam bint Abdullah al-Attiyah held the positions of Director of Program and Education Department, Head of the Media Department, and Social Researcher at The National Human Rights Committee of the State of Qatar. 

She was Awarded Best Female Figure in the Middle East by the Middle East Excellence Awards and Best Strategic Leader in the National Human Rights Committee in 2013. 

She received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Qatar University in 2000.

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Rhonelle Bruder, Founder, Rise Initiative


Rhonelle Bruder an internationally recognized speaker, human rights advocate, and social entrepreneur; she is the founder of Project iRISE, a non-profit organization dedicated to educating and empowering survivors of human trafficking and gender-based violence. A survivor of human trafficking, Rhonelle has shared her story of overcoming adversity and resilience to global audiences and uses her voice to raise awareness of human trafficking and advocate for the rights of survivors. Rhonelle holds a Master of Science in Health Informatics from the University of Victoria and an Honours of Bachelor of Science in Health Services Administration from New York City College of Technology.  She is a regular contributor to national and local media sources, including CBC, Global News, CP24 News, The Toronto Star,  Flare Magazine and more for her expertise on human trafficking, gender-based violence and mental health. 

Website link:

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Kay Chernush,  Photographer, Founder & President, ArtWorks for Freedom

Kay Chernush is an award-winning photographer with more than 30 years experience in commercial and fine art photography.  Based in the Washington, DC area, her assignments have taken her all over the world   for major magazines, Fortune 500 corporations, and both nonprofit and governmental agencies. Her fine art work includes an exploration of prejudice and empathy, “The Us & The They,” and a series of self-portraits entitled “Self-Examination,” a meditation in words and images of her experience with breast cancer.


Kay earned a B.A. from Sarah Lawrence College and was the recipient of a Fulbright grant to India. Prior to becoming a professional photographer, she worked for the New Yorker Magazine, the New York Times Paris bureau, the Peace Corps and the US Agency for International Development.  It was while on an assignment for the Peace Corps in West Africa that she fell in love with photography.  Self-taught, she considers her career an on-going process of learning how to see. In 2005 an assignment for the U.S. State Department brought her face to face with the evils of human trafficking and modern slavery. Challenged and appalled by this gross human rights atrocity, Kay began working with individual survivors and anti-trafficking organizations in cities around the world. The innovative approach she developed uses collaged and constructed imagery to dignify trafficked persons and re-frame how their stories are portrayed.  


Kay founded ArtWorks for Freedom in July 2011. A unique non-profit organization that uses the power of art in the fight against human trafficking, ArtWorks for Freedom builds awareness, amplifies the voices of survivors, and inspires anti-trafficking activism against this worldwide crime against humanity.  Her fine art work is included in the permanent collections of the World Bank, the UN Office on Drugs and Crime, and the National Institutes of Health, private collections both in this country and abroad, and has been exhibited widely in solo and juried group shows.

Kay’s images can be viewed at and

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Ambassador Luis C. deBaca, Visiting Lecturer in Law, Yale Law School

Luis C.deBaca is a Visiting Lecturer in Law at Yale Law School. He led U.S. government activities in the global fight against contemporary forms of slavery during the Obama administration. As Ambassador at Large to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons, C.deBaca updated statutes created after the Civil War and through the 13th Amendment to develop the victim-centered approach to modern slavery that has become the global standard for combating human trafficking.

In the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice, C.deBaca investigated and prosecuted complex criminal cases, negotiated labor and human rights advances, and managed multi-million dollar grant portfolios combating slavery and sexual abuse. As one of the most decorated federal prosecutors in the U.S., he investigated and prosecuted cases of human trafficking, hate crimes, and police misconduct, as well as immigration, organized crime, and money laundering. He built his litigation record into policy, incorporating the voices of victims, workers, and the advocacy community into decision making. As principal DOJ drafter of the U.S. Trafficking Victims Protection Act and a member of the team that negotiated the United Nations’ trafficking protocol, he helped to enshrine the "3P" anti-trafficking approach of prevention, protection, and prosecution in U.S. and international practice.

Following his prosecution career, he served as Counsel to the House Committee on the Judiciary, where he handled issues of civil rights, immigration, and civil liberties, including revisions to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. In the Obama Administration, he served as Director of the State Department’s Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons from 2009 to 2014 and as the Director of the Justice Department’s Office for Sex Offender Monitoring Apprehending, Registering, and Tracking from 2015 to 2017.

Since retiring from government service, C.deBaca has been a Senior Fellow of Modern Slavery at Yale University’s Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance, and Abolition. He is also a 2017-2019 Soros Open Society Human Rights Fellow focusing on worker-led social responsibility, and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

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Dr. Francis Fukuyama, Olivier Nomellini Senior Fellow at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies, Director of the Ford Dorsey Master's in International Policy,

and Research Affiliate at The Europe Center, Stanford University

Francis Fukuyama is the Olivier Nomellini Senior Fellow at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies (FSI), the Director of the Ford Dorsey Master's in International Policy, and the Mosbacher Director of FSI's Center on Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law (CDDRL).  He is also a professor by courtesy in the Department of Political Science. He was previously at the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) of Johns Hopkins University, where he was the Bernard L. Schwartz Professor of International Political Economy and director of SAIS' International Development program.

Dr. Fukuyama has written widely on issues relating to questions concerning democratization and international political economy. His book, The End of History and the Last Man, was published by Free Press in 1992 and has appeared in over twenty foreign editions. His most recent book is Political Order and Political Decay: From the Industrial Revolution to the Globalization of Democracy.

Francis Fukuyama received his B.A. from Cornell University in classics, and his Ph.D. from Harvard in Political Science. He was a member of the Political Science Department of the RAND Corporation, and a twice a member of the Policy Planning Staff of the US Department of State. From 1996-2000 he was Omer L. and Nancy Hirst Professor of Public Policy at the School of Public Policy at George Mason University. He served as a member of the President's Council on Bioethics from 2001-2004. 

Dr. Fukuyama is chairman of the editorial board of The American Interest, which he helped to found in 2005. He holds honorary doctorates from Connecticut College, Doane College, Doshisha University (Japan), and Kansai University (Japan). He is a member of the Board of Governors of the Pardee Rand Graduate School, and of the Volcker Alliance. He is a member of the American Political Science Association and the Council on Foreign Relations. He is married to Laura Holmgren and has three children.

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Clare Hutchinson, Special Representative for Women, Peace and Security, NATO


Clare Hutchinson took office as the NATO Secretary General’s Special Representative for Women, Peace and Security in January 2018. She is the high-level focal point on all aspects of NATO’s contribution to the Women, Peace and Security agenda, with the aim to facilitate coordination and consistency in NATO’s policies and activities and to take forward the implementation of the NATO/EAPC Policy and Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security.


Ms Hutchinson worked as a Senior Gender Adviser with the United Nations for over a decade. She has been instrumental in setting the strategic development of Women, Peace and Security for the United Nations Department of Peacekeeping in New York, Kosovo and Lebanon.

Born and educated in Newcastle Upon Tyne, United Kingdom, Ms Hutchinson studied theatre and started her career in broadcasting and public relations, working in public radio and freelance reporting in Canada and the United Kingdom. She later obtained her Masters of International Relations and Masters of Research from Newcastle University. She moved to Canada in 1991 and is a Canadian citizen, residing in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Ms Hutchinson has long been a champion for women’s issues, working with women’s groups for many years and supporting projects for women’s empowerment. She worked in the burgeoning ICT industry as a communications expert for internet start-ups and led projects that helped women and young people utilise technology.

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Ambassador Sarah Mendelson, Distinguished Service Professor Of Public Policy And Head Of Heinz College In Washington, DC


Confirmed by the Senate in October 2015, Ambassador Mendelson was the USUN lead on international development, human rights, and humanitarian affairs. There she oversaw campaigns to get country-specific resolutions passed in the General Assembly and to get NGOs, including the Committee to Protect Journalists, accredited to the UN. She led efforts to elevate the issue of combating human trafficking and was senior lead for the President's Summit on Refugees.


Prior to her appointment as Ambassador, she served as a Deputy Assistant Administrator at USAID from 2010-2014 where she was the Agency lead on democracy, human rights, and governance. A long timepolicy entrepreneur, she has spent over two decades working on development and human rights as a scholar and practitioner including in Moscow with the National Democratic Institute, on the faculty of the Fletcher School at Tufts University, and over a decade as senior adviser and inaugural director of the Human Rights Initiative at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. There she also worked as a senior fellow in the Russia and Eurasia Program where she over saw focus groups, public opinion surveys, and social marketing campaigns in Russia on a range of issues.


A member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the author of over 70 scholarly and public policy publications, Ambassador Mendelson received her BA in History from Yale University and her PhD in political science from Columbia University.


Morgane Nicot, Criminal Justice Officer, UNODC Human Trafficking and Migrant Smuggling Section, Lead Knowledge Development Team 


Ms. Nicot’s career has gradually evolved around international criminal justice and protection issues. Once an intern at the UN International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, she specialized in humanitarian law (LLM International Criminal Justice and Armed Conflicts at Nottingham University, UK) and joined the International Committee of the Red Cross. She served both at the headquarters’ legal division and as a delegate in the Middle East and Africa for the protection of civilians and detainees. Returning to her home country, she engaged in defending the rights of asylum seekers and undocumented migrants with Caritas. Six years ago, she went back to the UN where she since advises the organization and Member States on issues related to organized crime, migrant smuggling and human trafficking.

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Dr. Katarina Schwarz, Assistant Professor of Antislavery Law and Policy and Associate Director at the Rights Lab, University of Nottingham


Dr Katarina Schwarz is an Assistant Professor in Antislavery Law and Policy in the School of Law, and Associate Director of the Rights Lab, at the University of Nottingham. Her research explores the intersections between slavery and the law, from the historical to the contemporary. She holds a PhD from the University of Nottingham (considering the case for reparations for transatlantic enslavement in international law), as well as LLB and BA degrees from the University of Otago.


In her role leading the Rights Lab's Law and Policy Programme, Schwarz works at the interface of research and policy to deliver evidence-based guidance for contemporary antislavery action. Her Rights Lab research interrogates the law and policy frameworks operating at the global, regional, and domestic level to determine the elements of effective antislavery governance and map trends, successes, and failures.


In 2018, Schwarz was recognised as a Grand Dignitaire de la Cour Royale de Porto Novo of the Republic of Benin for her work on reparations, and in 2019 was the recipient of the Nottingham Institute for Policy and Engagement's Policy Impact Rising Star Award for her work on modern slavery law and policy. She sits on the Executive Committee, and is a member, of the Antislavery Early Research Association - an interdisciplinary, global network of early career and postgraduate researchers studying slavery and human trafficking.

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