Monico, assistant professor of human service studies, promotes human trafficking prevention through teaching, community service and mentored research
Carmen Monico, assistant professor of human service studies, has been working the past six years on the issue of global human trafficking and how it is creating adverse public health impact in Alamance County and throughout North Carolina.
Human trafficking is a global issue with local relevance. Monico notes that this multibillion-dollar illegal activity has become more prevalent in the U.S. with a growing number of domestic victims, as opposed to foreign victims. This social problem is affecting mostly vulnerable women and children, as well as agricultural workers. North Carolina is one of the 10 states with the highest number of reported cases. Although protection and prevention services have expanded, and prosecution of traffickers has improved in the state, there is still great need for the development of anti-trafficking activities, Monico says.
During spring 2019, Monico developed a human trafficking prevention program that included a wide range of activities with Elon students and community partner CrossRoads – Sexual Assault Response and Resource Center. She taught the course HSS 174 Human Trafficking, which besides being an elective for the major and minor of Human Service Studies, it is an approved course for the minors of Women's, Gender, & Sexuality Studies (WGSS), International & Global Studies (ISG), Peace & Conflict Studies (PCS), and Criminal Justice Studies (CSJ).
Through a Community Partnership Initiative from the Kernodle Center for Service Learning and Community Engagement, Courtney Dunkerton with Alamance for Freedom, which is a CrossRoads program to prevent human trafficking locally, delivered a professional workshop titled Human Trafficking 101. In collaboration with Julie Budd of Crossroads, Monico hosted a film series that included the showing of films related to child abuse and sexual assault: "Resilience" and "I am Evidence."
In addition, Monico mentored undergraduate research with Elon College Fellow Haley Cole and WGSS recent graduate Melody Fisherlewek, in collaboration with Assistant Professor Jennifer Toller Erausquin and doctoral student Rachel Faller of the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Preliminary findings have been presented at the 2018 fall COR forums and at a World Congress of Sociology in Canada during summer 2018.
A book chapter on the first phase of the research project will be published later this year in the edited volume “Modern Day Slavery and Trafficking in Persons: Narratives on International Scenario” by the Instituto de Investigaciones Sociales, Autonomous University of Nuevo León, Mexico.
Additionally, Monico was interviewed for an investigative journalism project by Emmanuel Morgan '19, former executive director of Elon News Network, that discussed how human trafficking takes place in Alamance, how the issue impacted Elon alumna Alex Herring, and what Monico is doing with Crossroads' Alamance for Freedom in this county.