Faculty & Leadership Blog / Faculty in the News

Babson Represented with Two Articles in Cogitatio Press’s Journal ‘Perspectives on Human Trafficking and Modern Forms of Slavery’

Christina Bain, Director of Initiative on Human Trafficking and Modern Slavery, and Elizabeth Swanson, Arts and Humanities Professor at Babson, both authored articles in the latest Cogitatio Press’s Journal ‘Perspectives on Human Trafficking and Modern Forms of Slavery’.

Christina BainBain’s article entitled, Entrepreneurship and Innovation in the Fight Against Human Trafficking, addresses how entrepreneurship education can train and inspire the next generation of anti-trafficking leaders.


“There has been much discussed and written on the benefits of entrepreneurship education, as well as the importance of early access to this type of learning. But how can entrepreneurship education train and inspire the next generation of anti-trafficking leaders? How can entrepreneurship also be a driver for prevention and a source of economic stability for those at-risk and survivors of human trafficking? At present, there are entrepreneurs and entrepreneurs-in-training at multiple age levels coming from a variety of backgrounds, incomes, and circumstances who will develop groundbreaking strategies and solutions in the fight against trafficking. These current and future entrepreneurs can also provide fresh perspectives to those in government and business while building more effective tri-sector coalitions and partnerships that address human trafficking. This article explores how and why entrepreneurship can be a key vehicle for social change and innovations in combating human trafficking, along with providing a multi-ingredient recipe of prosperity for those most vulnerable.”

Elizabeth SwansonSwanson’s article entitled, Freedom, Commerce, Bodies, Harm: The Case of Backpage.com, addresses the lawsuits again Backpage.com.


This article situates lawsuits against Backpage.com in the context of changing laws and norms of sexual commerce and trafficking, and of evolving legal interpretations of Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. Section 230 has been used repeatedly to shield internet service providers such as Backpage.com from liability for content generated by third parties that has led to criminal harm to others; in this case, the trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation of minors. Moving to a critique of the law as at times grievously detached from the realities it addresses, I compare the legal strategies and decisions in three prominent cases brought against Backpage.com in St. Louis, Tacoma, and Boston, respectively. This critique identifies the evacuation of gendered bodies and the harm done to them from the court opinions as an example of what Robert Cover has called the “interpretive violence” of the law, and of the judges who interpret and dispense it. I conclude by calling for courts and Congress to act together to disrupt the accumulation of interpretive precedent favoring freedom of commerce and speech over the protection of bodies from harm.