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Status of world’s women and children to be Frank Church Symposium focus

February 6, 2007

Idaho State University’s 36th annual Frank Church Symposium Feb. 28 through March 2 will address the topic “Women and Children: Second-Class Citizens of the World.”

Laura J. Lederer, a senior advisor to the undersecretary of State for democracy and global affairs on trafficking in persons, will deliver the keynote address, “Trafficking, Democracy, and Women’s Rights.” She is scheduled to deliver her keynote address on Feb. 28 at 7:30 p.m. in the Pond Student Union Building Wood River Room.

The International Affairs Council, an Idaho State University student organization, is hosting the symposium, which is free and open to the public.

This year’s symposium includes lectures and panel discussions on various topics, including “Children at War: The Global Challenge of Child Soldiers,” a speech by Peter W. Singer from the Brookings Institution about the new phenomenon of child soldiers and their impact on the battlefield; “Violence Against Women and Children: Protecting the Defenseless,” which addresses the different types of violence inflicted against women and children such as human trafficking and how to keep the next generation from experiencing the same problems; and “The Never Ending Cycle of Poverty and Health Care Across the Globe,” which tackles the struggles that women and children face in developing countries.

Lederer received her Bachelor of Arts degree magna cum laude in comparative religions from the University of Michigan. After 10 years in philanthropy as director of community and social concerns at a private foundation, she continued her education at the University of San Francisco Law School and DePaul College of Law, and received her Juris Doctorate in June 1994. In 1997 she received the Gustavus Meyers Center for Study of Human Rights Annual Award for Outstanding Work on Human Rights for her work on  harmful speech issues.

She is the author of numerous articles on trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation of women and children. She founded and directed The Protection Project at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government in 1997. At the invitation of then Dean Paul Wolfowitz, The Protection Project moved to Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) in 2000. She is an adjunct professor of law at Georgetown Law Center, where she teaches a course on International Trafficking of Persons.

For more information on the symposium, contact the ISU International Studies Office at 282-3043. Biographies of the speakers and a schedule of symposium events are available on the International Affairs Council Web site at www.isu.edu/intnlst/iac/2007/.


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