WASHINGTON, D.C. 2018 CONVENTION
April 27th - 28th, 2018
In April 2018, students traveled from across the country to gather at our nation’s capital in Washington, D.C. Eight students from American University planned a CLIFF regional convention that not only covered foundational topics related to human trafficking, but also covered unconventional yet critical topics that are often missed in conversations on exploitation. More than anything, this convention proved that students are thinking in interdisciplinary and proactive ways to address issues of exploitation that show up in every corner of our country and world.
At the DC 2018 convention, over 30 students had the opportunity to collaborate with each other as well as the 8 expert advisors who facilitated the convention.
The wide variety of topics covered during the convention exposed students to key conversations often unaddressed, such as: prison labor, the intersection of domestic violence and sex trafficking, labor exploitation in supply chains, self-care of advocates, and much more.
One of the highlights of the convention was an open session where student leaders shared their collective challenges when running their organizations or initiatives and brainstormed together based on direct feedback to create solutions on the spot.
Avantika Shenoy, CLIFF Regional Lead
Avantika Shenoy is the DC Regional Leader for the Collegiate Leaders in the Fight for Freedom. Currently, Avantika is the Freedom Network Training Institute Coordinator for Freedom Network USA, a national coalition of service providers and advocates who work directly with survivors of human trafficking using a human rights-based, empowering approach.
She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Interdisciplinary Studies (Communication, Legal Institutions, Economics, Government) from American University in December 2017. During her time at American University, Avantika founded a student run organization, AU Students Against Human Trafficking, whose mission is to create a dialogue among college students about human trafficking while facilitating the work of anti-trafficking organizations in D.C., through advocacy, community engagement and education. Previously, Avantika spent time in Nepal interning at Maiti Nepal, the biggest anti sex trafficking organization in Nepal, she has also interned for the Amara Legal Center, a legal services organization in D.C that provides pro bono legal services to anyone whose rights have been violated while being involved in commercial sex. Avantika is passionate about providing trauma informed services for survivors of gender based violence and advocating for the rights of sex workers.