Home Social Justice OU alumn talks human trafficking, social advocacy, and OU’s influence on her current career

OU alumn talks human trafficking, social advocacy, and OU’s influence on her current career

3 min read

Emily Dunlap, a 2010 graduate of Ohio University, spoke candidly to students on Tuesday night about the realities of human trafficking in Ohio and beyond.

Currently, Dunlap serves as a Ohio State University Fellow in Juvenile Human Trafficking, where she actively defends victims of both labor and sexual human trafficking cases.

Dunlap started her presentation by making the direct comparison between Garry Marshall’s “Pretty Woman” and Pierre Morel’s “Taken,” illustrating that “while both of these are talking about prostitution and human trafficking, both are probably misconstruing what it actually is.”

Dunlap defined human trafficking as “exploiting another for one’s personal gain,” and continued to explain to students the grim realities of many victims of trafficking.

Drawing upon recent examples of human trafficking in Ohio, Dunlap expounded upon the types of cases she faces every day. Last August, three massage parlor owners were charged human trafficking and prostitution in Franklin County after housing seven Chinese women and forcing them to work in “near slave-like” conditions.

Noting how close to home this case was, Dunlap explained “people think that trafficking is not happening in the United States, or it’s just men taking women for sex or other sales,” and that “and it creates some misperceptions as well.”

Her presentation further explained the legal ramifications of human trafficking and took an introspective look on how Ohio University propelled her to explore the realm of social advocacy.

Admittedly, Dunlap said during her time at OU, “I was never going to be at the top 10 percent of my class, so I filled my resume with practical experience.”

Though a self-proclaimed “starving lawyer,” her time at Ohio University proved to be rife with personal growth and social advocacy with a concentration in feminism. She implored students to take gap years, go to law school and advocate for what they love.

The event, hosted by OU’s Center for Law, Justice & Culture, focused on a central theme of Critical Resistance through Legal Activism.

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