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A moral imperative: Protecting translators and interpreters at risk
Date and time: 09:30-10:30, Saturday, 3 September, 2016 NOTE: This session has already been held
Room: Triple Panorama Room
Translators and interpreters are in the crosshairs of state and non-state actors alike. Whether targeted by governments across the world or insurgents in theaters of war, their courage to work in such settings often comes at a high price. Court interpreters receive death threats by text; prison translators are prosecuted on trumped-up charges; and conflict zone linguists are kidnapped, tortured and murdered. In view of this critical state of affairs, their protection gains particular urgency. That is why Red T, the only non-profit organization of its kind, was established to advocate on behalf of translators and interpreters in high-risk settings.
In this keynote, Red T founder Maya Hess will outline the current landscape for linguists in conflict situations and introduce Red T’s various initiatives, among them the Open Letter Project and the development of safety guidelines in partnership with the five major international language associations (International Association of Conference Interpreters, International Federation of Translators, International Association of Professional Translators and Interpreters, Critical Link International and World Association of Sign Language Interpreters). The audience will learn about on-going efforts to spur change in policies detrimental to the profession and the push for international legal instruments such as a UN Resolution that confers protected-person status on civilian translators and interpreters in conflict zones. Above all, by presenting the Red T vision for the future, ProZ.com members are invited to get involved and raise their voices on behalf of their endangered colleagues at risk.
Maya Hess (United States), CEO and founder of Red T
Bio: Maya Hess is the founder and CEO of Red T, a US-based non-profit organization that advocates worldwide on behalf of translators and interpreters in high-risk settings. As a forensic linguist, Maya provided language support and expert witness services in many high-profile terrorism trials and experienced firsthand how vulnerable members of this profession can be. She holds an M.A. in Journalism from New York University, a Graduate Certificate in Terrorism Studies from John Jay College of Criminal Justice, as well as an M. Phil. and Ph.D. in Criminal Justice from the City University of New York.