Eckerd professor, four students win grant to study human trafficking in Cambodia

Cambodia felt different from her parents’ native El Salvador and Mexico that Tiffany Velasquez saw as a child, but some things looked familiar.

“Seeing the children who were trying to sell you bracelets—or anything they could to make some money, to survive—was similar,” recalled the junior human development and psychology student from Spring, Texas. Still, witnessing firsthand the pervasive culture of human trafficking convinced Tiffany that she’d love the chance to return and study the difference between the plight of Cambodian children and other impoverished youths.

Thanks to the ASIANetwork Freeman Student-Faculty Fellowship (SFF), she will get her chance. Human Development Professor Nancy Janus selected Tiffany and three other students—Alicia Censabella, Jamie Myre and Alicen Nico—to be her research partners for a 21-day trip to “discover factors that may be impeding efforts to reduce child sex trafficking in Cambodia,” according to the project proposal.

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