Jan Miyasaki from Project Respect presenting the Wisconsin Anti-Human Trafficking Protocol to participants of the STREETS of Hope Forum (Photo by Alan Talaga, 2015.)


Our Project

Social Transformations to End Exploitation and Trafficking for Sex (STREETS) is contributing to the end of human trafficking through education and action research that is grounded in the perspectives and preferences of survivors. STREETS aims to impact communities locally and globally and become an effective voice in the legal and policy realm. STREETS has been a part of 4W since its inception in 2015, and is supported by the Diermeier Foundation.

Our goals to effect change and confront human trafficking are:

  1. Develop educational content and training materials related to sex trafficking (grounded in research and survivor perspectives);
  2. Become a research to practice bridge between the university and civil society actors working on these issues, including survivors themselves;
  3. Make STREETS a network of global research and partnership opportunities;
  4. Support researchers and practitioners of tomorrow by creating internships and mentoring related to anti-sex trafficking work for UW students



STREETS takes a woman-centered approach to combating trafficking for sexual exploitation and seeks to incorporate the voices and perspectives of survivors. Toward this goal we organized the two-day “STREETS of Hope Forum that brought together local and global practitioners, researchers and survivors to explore promising practices in after care as well as approaches to measuring the wellbeing of women and children who have experienced human trafficking for sexual exploitation. Grounded in the insights of practitioners and the perspectives of survivors, this STREETS convening began the development of recommendations and a research agenda to advance the goal of ending trafficking for sex and assisting the recovery for those affected by this heinous crime. The results are being synthesized and compiled as a set of first generation guidelines on survivor wellbeing to inform policy development, program design and monitoring and evaluation.

Activities and Impacts

Research, educational content, and training materials

  • Worked with UW Continuing Education on modules for training professionals about sex trafficking and conducted training workshops at UW School of Medicine and Public Health.
  • Produced a working paper on the outcomes and recommendations from the 2015 STREETS of Hope Forum (see below), including recommendations for outcome measures for programming informed by survivor perspectives.
  • Conducted online research on sexual exploitation in the classified advertising website, “Backpage” in Madison.
  • Worked with the Spanish Anti-Trafficking Network and four Spanish universities, as well as civil society and university partners in Texas to create new courses and build capacity for a comparative cross-border research project supported by a European grant.
  • Supported a qualitative, grounded-theory study with human trafficking survivors and educators on better practices on human trafficking education in U.S. schools.

Research to Practice Bridge and Networks of Global Opportunities

  • Expanded international partnerships in Spain (Spanish Anti-Human Trafficking Network); Japan (Lighthouse); Singapore (National University of Singapore); Cambodia (Hagar International); Romania (Fundatia Usa Deschisa-Bucharest); Moldova
  • Supported local partnerships including the Wisconsin Anti-Human Trafficking Consortium and SlaveFreeMadison and participated in an art exhibit on trafficking at the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art. Developed arts-based education program on representations of women.
  • Deepened Project Respect partnership through healing art-based survivor workshops and support for a survivor programs coordinator.
  • Engaged with the UNESCO global platform through the UW UNESCO Chair on Gender, Wellbeing, and a Culture of Peace.
  • Represented STREETS at 14 academic and policy forums, including a plenary at the 2017 4W Summit.

Education and Mentoring for UW Students

  • Matched five student interns with local organizations and one with an organization in Spain; awarded funding to support Force for Freedom, a UW student-led organization; and created a new undergraduate field course to educate UW students about the transnational challenges of human trafficking in Spain and the Mediterranean and developed an independent study curriculum on trafficking challenges in S.E. Asia.
  • Continued field course in Spain; formalized curriculum on trafficking challenges in SE Asia; multiple guest lectures in trafficking-related courses; continued work with five graduate and undergraduate assistants, providing networking, research, and professional development opportunities.