Asbury Political Science Professor Publishes Human Trafficking Report – Asbury University
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Asbury Political Science Professor Publishes Human Trafficking Report

February 20, 2024

Dr. Glenn Harden

As part of the Kentucky Statewide Human Trafficking Task Force, Assistant Professor of Political Science & History Dr. Glenn Harden recently co-authored with Marissa Castellanos, MSW, the 2024 Kentucky Statewide Human Trafficking Data Report: A Comprehensive Report of Existing Multi-Disciplinary Data. Contributors included Jezri Leong ’24 and Alexis Daniel (Catholic Charities of Louisville).

“Our report asks the question: ‘How are we doing?’ so we can do better,” Harden said.

The Kentucky Statewide Human Trafficking Task Force was created in 2013 by Gretchen Hunt, a long-time anti-human trafficking advocate to assist with the implementation of the Human Trafficking Victims’ Rights Act (HTVRA), passed by the Kentucky General Assembly. Learn more:

Harden (as chair for the Task Force’s Data and Research Working Group) and Castellanos offered “a comprehensive report of existing and accessible multi-disciplinary data helpful in evaluating anti-trafficking efforts and promoting evidence-based best practices” with 10 recommendations to Governor Andy Beshear.

“A common misconception of trafficking involves the ‘stranger danger’ perspective, but the sad truth is that victims often get trafficked by those closest to them,” said Harden. “As a Christian, it remains paramount to recognize that trafficking remains intertwined with social problems such as drug addiction, prostitution, inequality, poverty, and homelessness. We need to approach the issue with humility and learn best practices as we seek to understand and counter human trafficking.”

Harden and his colleagues on the Task Force aim to promote intersectoral cooperation, bringing together government and civil society to “reduce and end human trafficking through law enforcement, victim outreach, rehabilitation for survivors, raising awareness, research, advocacy, and prevention.”

Along with launching the Pre-Law Minor, in the fall of 2024, the Asbury University Social Science & History Department will also launch the Human Trafficking Studies Minor. This 18-credit minor includes courses in migration and human trafficking policy, global and regional perspectives, and more, with opportunities for internships, independent studies and seminars.

“Asbury undergraduate students interested in anti-trafficking work can gain more context of trafficking to help with efforts along the way,” Harden said. “This program remains relevant across disciplines, including social work, psychology, media communication, business, coding, and more.”

“This minor gives students a basis of viable empirically-based information on this topic,” said Dean of the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences and Professor of Political Science Dr. Steve Clements ’83.

An upcoming project for Harden includes preparing publication of a human trafficking policy dataset with Dr. Kate Perry at Georgia Southern University. The dataset was first built as part of Harden’s dissertation, The Transnational Diffusion of Human Trafficking Policy.

Harden received his Ph.D. in political science from the University of Kentucky, his M.A. in theological studies from Asbury Theological Seminary, and his M.A. in history from George Mason University.

The Asbury University Social Science & History Department currently offers four majors (History, Political Science, Social Studies Grades 8-12, and Sociology) and three minors (History, Political Science, and Sociology). Learn more: