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. Our regional network includes the Kansas Governor’s Office, the anti-trafficking coalitions in Kansas and Missouri, members of the justice system, Homeland Security, the FBI, and multiple victim services organizations.

Related News

Information regarding executive order on immigration
On January 29th, KU Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little issued a statement on the recent executive order suspending immigration from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. Read the statement here.


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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Members of the ASHTI working group are working to create classes and eventually certificates in human trafficking research and prevention.

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ASHTI is working with the KU School of Law to establish the KU Anti-Slavery Clinic.

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Slavery memorial monument - Stone Town - Zanzibar - Unguja island - Tanzania, Africa

The ASHTI Prevention
Strategies Model

In order to combat trafficking in a cost effective and sustainable way, trafficking projects and policies need to address the problem at the source, before a person is trafficked.

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Kansas City Skyline

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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Map showing countries of origin

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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Photo of city street

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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