Human Trafficking and Identity Theft Among Numerous Important Symposium Subjects

Human trafficking and  identity theft will be just two of the numerous important subjects discussed at the Hancock Symposium on the campus of Westminster College in Fulton, MO.

The topic of this year’s upcoming Symposium is “Security vs. Liberty: Balancing the Scales of Freedom.”  Presenters and discussion will center on how America maintains a balance between championing liberty and preserving security. Ever since 9/11, the demand for security has compelled America to take a serious look at how increased security affects individual freedoms.

Westminster recently announced the establishment of a security studies major beginning this fall.

Those attending the two-day series of free public events will have their choice of attending  either a presentation on human trafficking or identity theft  at 1:30  p.m. Tuesday,  September 15.

Dr. Deb Hume,  Associate Teaching Professor at the University of Missouri-Columbia and founding member of the Central Missouri Stop Human Trafficking Coalition, will give a presentation entitled “Human Trafficking—Whose Freedom?  Whose Security?” in Room 207 of the Coulter Science Center.

Dr. Deb Hume

Dr. Deb Hume

Chad John, a Special Agent with the Federal Bureau  of Investigation, will talk about “Identity Theft:  Why Someone Would Want to Be You!” at the same time in Room 239 of the Coulter  Science Center.

Human trafficking involves recruiting, transporting, holding, or hiding people through the use of kidnapping, force, fraud, deception or coercion paying or receiving  payment to person  having control over the victim for the purpose of sexual exploitation or forced labor.

Human trafficking is considered to be one of the fastest growing criminal industries in the world. Approximately 17,500 people are brought into the United States every year and held against their will as victims of human  trafficking, although some sources estimate the number to be much higher, reaching the 60,000 range.  These numbers do not include those here from  previous years, migrants already in the country, displaced  people and those from oppressed or marginalized groups and the poor.

Dr. Hume’s presentation will focus on how the tensions between security, freedom, individual rights and national interests manifest in policy, prevention and protection  efforts.

Dr. Hume is a founding member of the Central Missouri Stop Human Trafficking Coalition and the faculty advisor for the student group MU Stop Traffic. These groups provide education and training for professionals in law enforcement, juvenile justice, social services and health care who work directly  with these issues.  She has spoken to over 100 academic and community groups on the subject and her expertise has informed several pieces of legislation regarding human trafficking. In 2014 she received the UM System President’s Award for Community Engagement.

Chad John has been a Special Agent with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) since March 1997.  John spent 10 years in the Dallas Division, Tyler Resident Agency, Tyler, TX and five years in the Kansas City Division,  Jefferson City Resident Agency working primarily complex white collar fraud investigations. He is a member of the FBI Evidence Response Team, Corporate Fraud Response Team and an Employee Assistant Peer.

FBI Agent Chad John

FBI Agent Chad John

Prior to joining the FBI, John was employed by Ernst & Young, LLP in Kansas City, MO, during which time he became a Certified Public Accountant.

Identity theft refers to crimes in which someone wrongfully obtains and uses another  person’s personal data in some way that involves fraud or deception, typically for economic gain. Common personal data thefts  are Social Security numbers, bank account or credit card numbers, or telephone calling card numbers.

The Hancock Symposium is a yearly event at Westminster College.   Classes are suspended for two days so the entire Westminster community can attend lectures, panel discussions and presentations by noted experts on one particular subject of global interest.  The public and media are also invited to attend.

For more information on the Hancock Symposium, go to


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