Senior Advisor, VP Global Trafficking in Persons Division


  •  Sylvia Ui’lani Matayoshi is recognized as an International expert on Human Trafficking. Her career began as a member of the Honolulu Police Department Domestic Abuse Response Team while pursuing University studies. For 13 years, Ms. Matayoshi established and led a two Tribal Enforcement Special Victims Units, funded by the U.S. Department of Justice, Office on Violence Against Women. She served as the member of the Washington State Government's Anti-Trafficking Taskforce and the Washington Anti-trafficking Resource Network (W.A.R.N.) while serving as a lead (Human Trafficking Program Manager) for a joint Trafficking Response Team, a collaborative project with the Asian Pacific Islander Safety Center, Refugee Women's Alliance, Seattle Police Department Vice Unit and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. 

  • From 2000 to 2010 Sylvia served as a Violence Against Women and Human Rights Specialist at the United Nations. She was appointed as an Official Delegate to the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women as a Senior Advisor and Negotiator representing Pacific Island Counties of the Republic of the Marshall Islands. During her service on the UN CSW, she co-sponsored UN policy along with the United States Delegation that addressed the prosecution of individuals and groups who fuel the demand for trafficked victims. She was a part of the UN Beijing +5 prep coms, UN World Congress on Children, Asian Regional Initiative Against Trafficking (ARIAT) and has conducted transnational child trafficking  investigations for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

  • Sylvia worked with Washington State Representative Velma Veloria and Ms. Rani Hong (Tronie Foundation) in Sao Paulo and Porto Allegre, Brazil, on assignment with the U.S. State Department to train law enforcement, prosecutors, lawmakers and advocates throughout the country, served on the faculty for the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center's Domestic Violence Indian Country Pilot Training Program and also participated in human trafficking meetings at the United States White House.

  • Ms. Matayoshi is a passionate and skilled speaker, advocate and trainer. She was a two-time Keynote Speaker at the United Nations International Women's Day, Brigham Young University, University of Hawaii School of Law International conferences on Human Trafficking in South America and throughout the United States.

  • She is a recipient of Zonta International Rose Award, provided training for visiting delegations from Croatia, Tanzania, Senegal, Russia, Japan, Korea, Iraq, Philippines and Albania and also served as an Expert Witness for the Northwest Intertribal Court System.

  • Ms. Matayoshi was the first full-time female member of an Ops Unit for an International Anti-Trafficking NGO where she served as a Vice-President of Strategic Mobilization with primary responsibilities to assist rescue operations and rehabilitation efforts with a focus on U.S. operations within the Pacific region and Indian country,

  • She presently serves as Vice-President of Trafficking in Persons Division for MPERS International. In addition, she supports Education and Training efforts for Rise and also serves as a board member for Children Lives Matter.

  • She has participated in FBI and FLET-C Training programs as well as numerous courses spanning local international relative course experience.