Assistant Professor Lara Gerassi was appointed to the executive board of the Global Association of Human Trafficking Scholars (GAHTS), an international organization focused on responding to human trafficking through research-based approaches to informing policy, advocacy, and activism.
“I am committed to fostering research opportunities in the pursuit of social justice for human trafficking survivors (and those at risk of human trafficking),” Gerassi says. “GAHTS emphasizes the need to understand the historical, political, structural, and cultural components of human trafficking and use evidence to promote survivors’ rights to person-centered health and social service care and socially just policies.”
GAHTS is comprised of 422 scholars from 39 countries at varying points of their careers as members. In addition to the executive committee, Dr. Gerassi is a Senior Research Scholar Member.
Goals of the association include bringing scholars from around the world together to:
- Encourage the creation and expansion of human trafficking focused knowledge
- Enhance opportunities for collaboration
- Promote the advancement of human trafficking scholars
- Further the dissemination of knowledge and skills to support and inform research, policy, and practice.
The executive committee collaborates on decisions impacting the direction and promotion or the association to meet these goals.
Dr. Gerassi’s research aims to enhance the wellbeing of people who are involved in the sex trade, including those who have been sex trafficked, and is strongly informed by her clinical experiences with survivors of intimate partner violence and sex trafficking. Her research interests include: Gender-based violence; Sex trafficking; Social work practice; and Anti-oppressive practice.
“I look forward to continue building the network of scholars who work with survivors to conduct action-oriented, anti-oppressive research,” she says.