Human Trafficking and Child Marriage Forum

Human trafficking and child marriage deny autonomy to and harm the physical, sexual, and emotional health of those who are targeted. Scholars, experts, legislators, and public officials will share research findings, examples from their work, and policy proposals for the way forward. The forum hosted by Global Hope 365, UCI Initiative to End Family Violence, and UCI Law will provide the opportunity to exchange ideas for solutions and increase momentum for legislative change.

September 14, 2019
Light Lunch: 11:30 a.m.–12:00 p.m.
Event: 12:00–3:00* p.m.
UCI School of Law | EDU 1111
401 E. Peltason Dr., Irvine, CA 92697

Registration is $10 and includes lunch. Free for UCI students.

Parking in the Social Science Parking Structure* is $10.

To request reasonable accommodations for a disability, please contact

This event is approved for 3 hours of Minimum Continuing Legal Education Credit by the State Bar of California. UCI School of Law is a State Bar-approved MCLE provider.

*Denotes recent event changes.

Register today!
  • Supervisor Doug Chaffee

    Orange County Supervisor 4th District

    Supervisor Doug Chaffee was elected the Orange County Board of Supervisors, 4th District in November of 2018. The 4th District includes the Cities of Brea, Fullerton, La Habra, Placentia, most of Anaheim, part of Buena Park, and unincorporated communities.
  • Michelle Heater

    Coming soon.
  • Senator Connie M. Leyva

    California State Senate District 20

    Serving her second term in the California State Senate, Senator Leyva represents the 20th State Senate District, which includes the cities and communities of Bloomington, Chino, Colton, Fontana, Grand Terrace, Montclair, Muscoy, Ontario, Pomona, Rialto and San Bernardino.

    Senator Leyva has fought throughout her career to improve the lives of working families and communities across the Inland Empire and California.  After serving as both Union Representative and President of the United Food and Commercial Workers - Local 1428, she represented over two million workers as the first woman President of the California Labor Federation.

    Since being elected to the Senate, Senator Leyva has led efforts to help improve the quality of life and well-being for California families and communities.  Important legislation authored by the Senator that has been signed into law include SB 1000 (requiring review of environmental justice impacts on local communities), SB 1072 (maximizing climate investments in low-income communities) and SB 970 (recovering and reusing food waste as clean energy and fuels). 

    Senator Leyva earned her bachelor's degree in communicative disorders from the University of Redlands.  Proud parents of adult twin daughters, Senator Leyva and her husband Al live in Chino, CA.

  • Debbie Martis

    Riverside County Anti-Human Trafficking Taskforce

    Debbie Martis is CEO and Founder of Rebirth Homes, a non-profit that provides homes for survivors of human trafficking. Rebirth Homes is a 2 year program that provides a holistic approach to healing—physical, mental, spiritual and emotional while providing job skills for the participants. The first home for Rebirth Homes is located in Riverside County and will provide a place of healing and restoration for adult women who have been trafficked.

    Debbie Martis has worked in executive leadership roles in both the for-profit and non-profit sectors for the past 20+ years. Debbie has her Master’s in Business Administration from University of Redlands.

  • Dr. Sandra Morgan

    Vanguard University Global Center for Women and Justice

    Dr. Sandra Morgan, an educator and nurse, is recognized globally for her expertise in combatting human trafficking and working to end violence against women. Dr. Morgan’s experience serving missing and exploited children includes direct care as a pediatric nurse, a volunteer with Doctors of the World (Athens, Greece) and as a past Administrator of the Orange County Human Trafficking Task Force (OCHTTF). Her expertise is recognized locally, nationally and internationally. She also serves the Orange County CSEC (Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children) Steering Committee partnering with Child Welfare and Juvenile Justice. In her role as Faculty and Director of Vanguard University’s Global Center for Women and Justice, she has built capacity for research, education and advocacy directly related to the exploitation of women and children.  She consistently brings together diverse groups to collaborate during annual Ensure Justice conferences as well as special focus summits. Her Ending Human Trafficking podcast has been recommended by the National Administration of Youth and Family Services Clearinghouse and is a great way to get up to speed on the complex issues of combatting human trafficking.
  • Rima Nashashibi

    Global Hope 365

    Rima Nashashibi has been a leader in civil and human rights for three decades.  Rima conducted empowerment training in 2015 for women and girls in the Middle East, preparing Saudi Arabian women to vote and run for office for the first time in that country's history. Rima served as Vice Chair of the Democratic Party of Orange County for a decade and subsequently served as President of the National Women Political Caucus in Orange County. Rima Nashashibi launched Global Hope 365, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, in June 2017. Since the launch of Global Hope 365, Rima has focused her daily activities around outreach, advocacy, education, raising awareness and saving lives. Through Rima’s advocacy, citizens of California have been shocked to learn that Child Marriage is legal in their home state. Although Human Trafficking is a more widely recognized issue in the state of California, Rima advocates for the policies and laws that will disrupt the market of buying and selling women and children for sex.

  • Chief David Nisleit

    San Diego Police Department

    Chief David Nisleit was promoted to the City of San Diego’s 35th Chief of Police on March 2, 2018. Chief Nisleit oversees the eighth largest police department in the nation. He is a native San Diegan and grew up in the Rolando Community. Chief Nisleit is a graduate of the University of Redlands, Master’s Degree in Business Management. In December of 2014, Chief Nisleit graduated from the FBI National Academy, FBINA #258.

    Chief Nisleit comes from a law enforcement family and has a legacy with the San Diego Police Department. His father, Randy Nisleit, served over 35 years with the Department and retired as a Captain in 1999. Following in his father’s footsteps, Chief Nisleit began his career with the San Diego Police Department in February 1988. His son, Ryan Nisleit, recently graduated from the San Diego Police Academy and is currently a patrol officer.

    Chief Nisleit has worked many of the Department's patrol commands and has extensive investigative experience. His prior assignments include Assistant Chief of Patrol Operations, Watch Commanders Office, Headquarters Front Counter, Homeless Outreach Team, Special Operations, Investigations II (Robbery, Gangs, and Homicide), field lieutenant, SWAT, Special Events, Narcotic Team 10, Sex Crimes, and Internal Affairs. David served as a liaison to the Downtown Redevelopment Agency, Crime Commission, Community Relations Officers, LEAPS, Police Historical Association, Labor Relations, Gang Commission, San Diego Police Foundation, and the Chief’s Community Advisory Board.

    Chief Nisleit has assisted in the security planning for several large events in San Diego such as the Super Bowl, Comic-Con, Rock n Roll Marathon, Balboa Park December Nights, LGBT Pride, International Association Chiefs of Police Convention, yearly holiday events and other major conferences.

    Chief Nisleit is a member of the San Diego County Police Chiefs’ and Sheriff’s Association, Major Cities Chiefs Association, Police Executive Research Forum, International Association of Chiefs of Police, STAR/PAL, SANDAG, and the SWAT Association. He has received numerous awards and citations throughout his career which has included a Congressional Recognition in 2008.

    Chief Nisleit is also a professor of criminal justice at the University of San Diego and Alliant University.

  • Dr. Jodi Quas

    UCI School of Social Ecology

    Dr. Jodi Quas is Professor of Psychological Science in the Interdisciplinary School of Social Ecology at the University of California, Irvine. She is recognized across the globe for her work on children’s eyewitness capabilities and abuse disclosure, and on the consequences of legal involvement on child and adolescent victims, witnesses, and defendants. She has received numerous awards for her research and for student training, including the Scientific Early Career Contributions in Developmental Psychology from the American Psychological Association and the Outstanding Mentoring Award from the American Psychology and Law Society.

    Dr. Quas is dedicated not only to pursuing rigorous science that helps identify and intervene on behalf of victimized children, but also to disseminating findings to broadly to academic, professional, and public audiences. This has included an extended training as a Fulbright Scholar for medical, legal, and social service professionals in Paraguay to improve understanding of the consequences of maltreatment, interpersonal violence exposure, and human trafficking on children, families and communities.

    Recently, with funding from the National Science Foundation, Dr. Quas has begun to evaluate interviewing strategies to increase disclosures in youth victims of sex trafficking. This work involves collaborations with multiple law enforcement agencies and legal professionals, all of whom are providing input to maximize the impact of the work in terms of identifying and protecting victims and prosecuting perpetrators.

  • Sergeant Juan Reveles

    Anaheim Police Department
    Coming soon.
  • Dr. Corey Rood

    UCI School of Medicine

    Corey J. Rood, MD, is the newest Child Abuse Pediatrician with the Department of Pediatrics at UC Irvine, CAST, and Miller Children’s and Women’s Hospital in Long Beach. He is an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics with the UC Irvine School of Medicine. As a child abuse pediatrician, his work focuses on the diagnosis, care, and management of potentially abused and neglected children. Dr. Rood’s clinical and research interests and expertise include commercially sexually exploited children (CSEC) including human trafficking, both international and domestic. Dr. Rood’s research endeavors include recent studies on sexting and online sexual solicitation exposure amongst adolescents with suspected sexual abuse, and human trafficking screening of adolescent patients.

    Dr. Rood received his bachelor’s degree in zoology from Weber State University and his medical degree from Oregon Health & Science University. After completing his pediatric residency training at the University of New Mexico Hospital, he completed a three-year Child Abuse Pediatrics fellowship program at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in association with The Ohio State University. At the completion of his fellowship training, he joined the faculty at the University of Utah in their Department of Pediatrics and at Primary Children’s Hospital where he spent 3 years prior to coming to UCI.

    Dr. Rood is an active member of many professional organizations, including the American Academy of Pediatrics, its Section On Child Abuse & Neglect, and the Ray Helfer Society. He has spent time as medical representation on the Ohio Human Trafficking Task Force and on Utah’s Trafficking in Persons (UTIP) Task Force Executive Board and Co-Chair of the UTIP Medical Subcommittee for the state.

  • Prof. Jane Stoever

    UCI School of Law

    Professor Stoever has extensive experience teaching domestic violence clinics and engaging in scholarship in the areas of domestic violence law, family law, feminist legal theory, and clinical legal theory.

    In Professor Stoever’s clinical teaching, she supervises law students representing clients in family law, immigration, and other legal and non-legal interventions into domestic violence. Professor Stoever began teaching as a Georgetown Clinical Teaching Fellow and Women’s Law and Public Policy Fellow, where she taught in Georgetown University Law Center’s Domestic Violence Clinic and was trained in clinical pedagogy. Prior to joining the faculty at UCI Law, Professor Stoever was a faculty member at American University Washington College of Law and Seattle University School of Law, where she taught Family Law and Domestic Violence Law and directed the Domestic Violence Clinic. Professor Stoever previously served as a judicial clerk, worked at legal aid offices and at a shelter for teenage girls, and was a live-in staff member at a shelter for homeless families. She graduated from Harvard Law School and received her LL.M. from Georgetown University Law Center. At Harvard Law School, she was a student attorney at the Harvard Legal Aid Bureau.

    Professor Stoever’s scholarly work focuses on the multiple oppressions domestic violence survivors face and explores ways that the law can better respond to complex experiences of intimate partner abuse. In addressing the interdisciplinary problem of domestic violence, her scholarship frequently brings together the worlds of law, public health, psychology, and survivors’ lived experiences.

  • Dr. Mellissa Withers

    USC Keck School of Medicine

    Mellissa Withers is an associate professor of clinical preventive medicine at the Keck School of Medicine of USC. She also directs the Global Health Program of the Association of Pacific Rim Universities, a non-profit network of 50 leading research universities in the region.

    Her research focuses on global reproductive health and women’s empowerment, including human trafficking, HIV/AIDS prevention and family planning. Other research interests include community participatory research, border health and mental health. Dr Withers is the editor of two books: Global Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health Across the Lifecourse, and Global Health Leadership: Case Studies from the Asia-Pacific. She has also published more than 30 scientific articles and serves on the editorial boards of six international global health journals. She spent several years living and working in countries in Asia, Latin America, and sub-Saharan Africa.

    Dr. Withers teaches several courses relating to global health, including ethics, leadership, and research methods. Prior to coming to USC in 2013, she taught at UCLA; California State University, Los Angeles; Occidental College; and UC San Francisco.

    Dr. Withers received a doctorate in community health sciences from the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health in 2009. She also earned her Master of Health Sciences degree in the health systems management track from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health Department of International Health. She graduated from UC Berkeley with a bachelor’s degree in global development.


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