The ASHTI Story

The Anti-Slavery and Human Trafficking Initiative (ASHTI) is working to find solutions to trafficking and exploitation transnationally. ASHTI, which means peace in several languages, is a working group of faculty and students at The University of Kansas. We are developing individual and collaborative research projects to understand the components of human trafficking in the US and in our international field sites. We are interested in the patterns of both contemporary and historical slavery and how they can inform each other.

The ASHTI working group is a collaboration among KU faculty and regional partners in government and civil society. Housed at the Institute for Policy & Social Research, ASHTI draws on KU’s existing faculty strengths and research centers designed to address contemporary issues of migration, immigration, international studies, inequality, gender studies, public health, and public policy.

ASHTI Research


Researchers at The University of Kansas are working on individual and collaborative projects addressing contemporary & historical slavery, immigration & migration, and inequality & exploitation.

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Kansas City
Research Site

KU researchers are piloting an empirical data collection model in the Kansas City metro area this year.

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Countries of Origin

This project focuses on the Kansas City metro area, yet trafficking is a global issue, as indicated by the vast span of countries of origin.

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Community and Individual
Risk Factors

Certain risk factors associated with sex trafficking and labor trafficking appeared consistently in our interviews, matching with the existing research in the field.

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ASHTI has held two conferences on various anti-slavery and human trafficking efforts.

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Beyond Discourse

ASHTI's second conference, Beyond Discourse: Critical and Empirical Approaches to Human Trafficking, was held in April 2019.

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Slavery and Human Trafficking

During its inaugural conference, IPSR hosted its first conference in coordination with many other offices and created ASHTI.

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