Washington State

Office of the Attorney General

Attorney General

Bob Ferguson


McKenna’s “Pillars of Hope” summit aims to arm opponents of human trafficking

SEATTLE — Federal officials, representatives of non-governmental organizations, scholars, two filmmakers and a host of other concerned activists arrive in Seattle tonight for a confab to combat human trafficking.

“Because of our state’s leadership in standing up for victims of human trafficking, it’s appropriate that these dedicated individuals will gather here,” said National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG) President and Washington Attorney General Rob McKenna. “Rarely do so many leading activists in the fight against modern day slavery gather in one place. This is a tremendous opportunity for us to learn from one another and continue our work to strengthen our laws and other victim protections across this country.”

McKenna hosts “Pillars of Hope – Attorneys General Unite Against Human Trafficking,” Wednesday night through Friday at Seattle’s Westin Hotel. Most sessions will be open to the media beginning at 9 am Thursday.

Human trafficking is a $32 billion global industry and is the fastest growing and second largest criminal activity in the world, tied with arms and after drug dealing.

This week’s meeting provides state attorneys general and representatives from Mexico and Canada, along with other leaders and activists with a forum to discuss ways to combat trafficking. Confirmed speakers include:

  • Ambassador Luis CdeBaca, senior advisor to the Secretary of State and director, Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons, U.S. Dept. of State;
  • Honorable Alice Chamberlayne Hill, senior counsellor to the Secretary, U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security;
  • Siddharth Kara, fellow on human trafficking, Harvard Kennedy School.
  • Filmmakers Colin Gray and Megan Aarons, who are involved in the upcoming feature-film “Sold” starring Gillian Anderson and David Arquette.

A full agenda and list of panelists may be found at: http://bit.ly/GXy9Dm (PDF).

This week’s summit is the culmination of McKenna’s initiative, which focuses on holding traffickers and abusers accountable, generating more services for victims, raising public awareness and reducing demand for human trafficking.

McKenna will hold a media availability on Friday, March 30, with Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley, to announce future plans in the fight against human trafficking.

When:  10:15 a.m. on Friday, March 30

Where:  St. Helens Conference Room, Seattle Westin



Janelle Guthrie, AGO Deputy Chief of Staff/Communications Director, (360) 586-0725