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Columbia Negotiation and Conflict Resolution Alumnus Film "Walking Merchandise" premieres October 23


Oct 23, 2012 - 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.


Teachers College, Columbia University

Columbia Negotiation and Conflict Resolution Alumnus Film “Walking Merchandise” Premieres October 23
Ethan Downing, recent graduate of the Columbia Master of Science in Negotiation and Conflict Resolution program, is using his education in the service of an important cause.

Ethan is the director of a documentary film, Walking Merchandise – Child Trafficking and the Snakehead Trade, a glimpse into human trafficking of middle-school-aged Chinese children brought to the United States by smugglers known as “snakeheads.”  Sent by their parents to work as low-wage laborers as a source of income, the children embark on a perilous journey that can include physical harm, sexual assault, and even death.  Once in the U.S., they are trapped in a life of debt-bondage and forced to work around the clock in dangerous conditions with the hope of paying off debts as high as $100,000.

Produced over two years, this short film tells the story of five children trafficked to the U.S. and the lawyers, social workers, and journalists who have dedicated their careers to helping them, as well as understanding the global forces that brought them to the U.S.  Walking Merchandise premiered earlier this year at the prestigious Rhode Island International Film Festival.

New York City Premiere
Tuesday, October 23, 6:30 p.m.
Milbank Chapel, Teachers College, Columbia University
Admission Free
Following the screening, there will be a panel discussion featuring experts working in conflict resolution, or featured in the film, and a short Q. & A. session with the filmmakers.


Panel Moderator:

Dr. Beth Fisher-Yoshida, Academic Director, Columbia University's Negotiation and Conflict Resolution Program


Lauren Burke, Supervising Staff Attorney, New York Asian Women's Center and Director of Atlas, DIY
Ethan Downing, Director, Walking Merchandise