Dr. Amy Leer Speaks About Human Trafficking

Dr. Amy Leer is a Sociology Professor and the Assistant Director for Honors and Service Learning at Mesa Community College.

Dr. Leer began her academic career as a tenured faculty member at Oregon State University where she taught for 8 years. She left OSU for Dublin Ireland where she worked for 3 years with Trinity College teaching students human rights awareness. As part of this program Dr. Leer taught groups of students for 4 week sessions and then took students on field work expeditions to Ethiopia, India, Tunisia, Morocco, Egypt, China, Thailand Cambodia, and Russia.

Dr. Leer has been a visiting professor at Columbia University, University of California at Los Angeles, and Dublin City College. She is a human rights activist and over the past 16 years has traveled to many parts of the world working with diasporic populations, rescuing women and children from the international sex and human trafficking trades, and setting up orphanages.

Dr. Leer has published three books, 16 articles, and presented over 200 times to educational forums in many parts of the world during the past 14 years.

According to the U.S. Department of Justice, the average age a girl enters the commercial sex trade is 12 to 14 years old; for boys, it’s even younger—just 11 to 13 years old. The Governor’s Task Force on Human Trafficking reported “due to the nature of the issue and the difficulty in victim identification, the state has very little data on the number of women and children victimized by human trafficking in Arizona.”

Human trafficking been in news, Dr. Leer has been doing work to help stop this for 16 years. She specifically works with Diasporic individuals.  Dr. Leer has been arrested 16 times in foreign countries while attempting to save children from slavery.  Phoenix is sex trafficking capital of the United States.


When asked how to spot situation Dr. Leer said to look for type of dress in young girls that does not seem appropriate for their age, location or time of day. Also look for girls who are stooping so as to be standing below their captors, no talking in public, will not let them go to bathroom alone. Owners are probably affluent. Drive around your neighborhood to try to spot these situations.