Katherine Kaufka Walts, JD

Katherine Kaufka Walts’ career has spanned various sectors, including private, non-governmental, and higher education. Her experience includes teaching, research, direct services via legal representation, advocacy, technical assistance and training, non-profit administration, consulting, law and policy, and writing and publication. She leverages these skills to impact a variety of issues including immigration, crime, health, child welfare, education, human trafficking, and human rights. As Director of the Center for the Human Rights of Children at Loyola University Chicago, Katherine’s work is focused on promoting the rights and dignity of children by addressing local and global issues facing children via multidisciplinary scholarship and research, outreach and education, and advocacy. These issues currently include child trafficking and exploitation, vulnerable youth navigation systems alone, and promoting children’s right to a healthy and safe environment in response to environmental toxins.

Prior to joining Loyola, Ms. Kaufka Walts served as the Executive Director of the International Organization for Adolescents (IOFA). At IOFA she developed several projects in the US and abroad advancing the rights of children and youth, including a program to develop the capacity of child welfare system to better respond to child trafficking and exploitation cases. Prior to IOFA, Ms. Kaufka Walts managed the Counter-Human Trafficking project at the National Immigrant Justice Center, where she successfully represented victims of human trafficking in the United States within immigration and criminal justice proceedings under the Trafficking Victims Protection Act.

Ms. Kaufka Walts has provided expert testimony to local, national, and international governmental bodies, including the Cook County Commission on Women, Illinois Senate Judiciary committee, the U.S. Judiciary Committee, Subcommittee on Human Rights, and the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child. Her appointments to local and national commissions include the American Bar Association Task force on Human Trafficking, the American Bar Association Commission on Youth at Risk, and Chicago Commission on Human Relations Advisory Council for Women. Her international work includes project development, training, and consultation in the Dominican Republic, Latvia, Ethiopia, and Kosovo.

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