Robert M. La Follette School of Public Affairs
Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Smirnova tackles modern-day slavery

Marianna Smirnova in her office, next to an anti-human trafficking poster.
Marianna Smirnova

Marianna Smirnova is the human trafficking policy specialist at the Wisconsin Coalition Against Sexual Assault. Since 2008, she has been organizing the Wisconsin Office of Justice Assistance's Human Trafficking Committee, which is creating a statewide protocol on human trafficking.

Smirnova is a member of Federal Human Trafficking Taskforce; Rescue & Restore Coalition; Wisconsin Department of Children and Families' Immigration Workgroup; and Slave Free Madison.

For the Wisconsin Coalition Against Sexual Assault, Smirnova researches and trains on state and national human trafficking policy and legislation. She also provides technical assistance on issues of human trafficking and immigration.

She graduated from the La Follette School in 2008 with a Master of International Public Affairs degree. In 2007 she interned at the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, a body involved in anti-human trafficking work. She first became interested in human trafficking as an undergraduate political science student at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She conducted a directed study on the scope of the problem in the Russian Federation in 2005.

Public Service

Marianna Smirnova will be part of panel discussion at the La Follette School Modern-Day Slavery Symposium on Friday, April 30. She will address the scope of the problem of human trafficking in Wisconsin and what local organizations can do to address it. The symposium is 8:45 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Sewell Social Sciences Building. Smirnova and 2006 alum Karina Silver, author of the report Hidden in Plain Sight: A Baseline Survey of Human Trafficking in Wisconsin, speak at 10:30 a.m.