At International Anti-Trafficking Summit, Youth for Human Rights International Urges Human Rights Training for Kids

The Organization of American States

President, Youth for Human Rights International, Dr. Mary Shuttleworth, addressing the need for basic human rights education in order to address demand in the fight against human trafficking

Shelter for survivors panel (l-r) Erica Graves "Unlikely Heroes", Alma Tucker "Intl Network of Hearts", Melissa Yao "National Trafficking Sheltered Alliance", Rita Hernandez "Rescue Freedom", Rosi Orozco "Unidos Vs Trata", Fr. Jeffery Bayhi "Metanoia Manor”

Youth for Human Rights International President Dr. Mary Shuttleworth (left) with summit organizer and author of the Mexican anti-trafficking law, Rosi Orozco (right) at the gala held at the Organization of American States

Free online course on human rights

Summit on Human Trafficking held with Latin American and US officials and civil society highlights collaboration in fighting human trafficking.

No one shall be held in slavery or servitude; slavery and the slave trade shall be prohibited in all their forms”
— United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights
WASHINGTON, DC, USA, August 4, 2022 / -- An international summit on best practices in fighting human trafficking was held in Washington, DC, with government officials from the US and Latin America as well as human rights organizations coordinating on successful programs in the US and other countries in the Americas. Realizing that coordination between Latin American countries and the US was critical in fighting human trafficking, Rosi Orozco, former Congresswoman from Mexico, organized the two-day conference.

The conference honored “10 years in the fight against human trafficking” in Mexico since the “General Law to prevent, punish and eradicate crimes related to human trafficking and for the protection and assistance to the victims of these crimes” was enacted. Since that time Mexico has successfully prosecuted kingpins behind human trafficking, including those involved in trafficking victims into the US.

The conference organizer, Ms. Orozco said, “Because what happens in Mexico affects the US considerably with women, girls, and even boys brought across the border to the US to continue their exploitation, this issue greatly affects the US as well.”

Addressing the group, John Cotton Richmond, former United States Ambassador-at-Large to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons, said that under laws in many countries, “You are more likely to serve time for stealing a car than for owning a person.” He said that such laws need to be changed in many countries, as “it is like an engraved invitation to come to our countries and sell people.” As a former prosecutor in the U.S. Department of Justice’s Human Trafficking Prosecution Unit, Richmond investigated and prosecuted numerous victim-centered labor and sex trafficking cases throughout the United States. He spoke about his prosecutorial experience as well as his hope for more cooperation between countries to fight this battle.

In order to coordinate actions in the US and Latin American countries, a panel lead by Colombian Senator John Milton, with Mexican Senator Cora Cecilia Pineda, Senator Miguel Angel Mancera, and Mayors Adrian Ruvalcaba, Fernando Flores, and Kety Lopez discussed best practices in their areas. All the panelists spoke about the need to fight human trafficking and improve coordination between districts, as well as provide programs and housing for those rescued from human trafficking.

Another panel discussed the need for shelters for trafficking survivors and coordination in the United States to find shelters and place victims in the best settings for their needs. A new National Trafficking Shelter Alliance refers victims to programs that will fit their needs and certifies shelters while helping them to improve their programs.

Speaking on a panel on effective collaboration, Dr. Mary Shuttleworth, President and Founder of Youth for Human Rights International, discussed the need for education as a preventative tool. Dr. Shuttleworth, a lifelong educator, spoke about the need to educate youth on the UN Universal Declaration on Human Rights. Dr. Shuttleworth contended that students who learn their own rights also realize the importance of protecting the rights of others. Regarding human trafficking, this can help cut demand, prevent trafficking and protect survivors.

Dr. Shuttleworth has travelled the world teaching the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) and has inspired Youth for Human Rights chapters to form in most of the countries in the world. These chapters educate youth around the globe about human rights, thus helping them to become valuable advocates for the promotion of tolerance and peace.

Youth for Human Rights has joined with dozens of human rights and child protective groups and human trafficking survivor organizations in urging the passage of legislation against trafficking in persons. Such legislation was brought up regularly during the conference as critical to cooperation between countries fighting against human trafficking.

Youth for Human Rights offers free courses online to help one better understand human rights at Educators can also download lesson plans and activities for their students revolving around human rights. Those interested in human trafficking can learn more at

Youth for Human Rights International has been working to prevent human trafficking on a national and international level for well over a decade. Raising awareness of human rights is the necessary undercut to this and many other human rights issues. Article 4 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states: “No one shall be held in slavery or servitude; slavery and the slave trade shall be prohibited in all their forms.” To read all the human rights as listed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights go to:

About Youth for Human Rights:
Youth for Human Rights International (YHRI) is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to teach youth about human rights, specifically the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and to inspire them to become valuable advocates for tolerance and peace. YHRI advocates for human rights both in the classroom and in nontraditional educational settings such as through art series, concerts, and other interactive community events, including regional and international human rights summits which bring youth together from across whole sectors of the world. Their most recent campaign has included #KnowYour30 with the deliberate purpose of increasing awareness of the 30 human rights every person has -- and how they are a part of everyday life. To learn more about human rights go to For a documentary on Youth for Human Rights and its founder, go to

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