Curriculum Guide · Courses
Modern Abolition: The Practice of Ending Child Labor and Human Trafficking
J.D. Practicum 1093 | 4 credit hours
Human trafficking is an umbrella term used to describe a whole host of crimes against the human body and human dignity. It encompasses the bonded laborer in the brick kilns of India, the Filipino domestic worker in Hong Kong, and the 15-year-old sold for sex on the streets of Washington, D.C. Because it is one of the most widely recognized historical human rights violations, there is broad consensus under international and national legal systems that slavery has no place in modern society. It is less well accepted by governments that slavery is an institution that has continued uninterrupted until today, with the exploiters and abusers merely adapting their tactics to evade detection and to “fit in” to various cultural and legal contexts. In some places, certain forms of modern slavery are unacknowledged by officials and civil society alike, and virtually everywhere, the resources needed to combat the scourge are unavailable. Nonetheless, practitioners the world over are now undertaking the tremendous task of finding and implementing solutions to protect victims of human trafficking, rehabilitate survivors, create accountability for traffickers and those who profit from trafficking, and take down the systems that allow slavery to persist, so that survivors of human trafficking are not replaced by new victims in an endless cycle. This course is intended to give law students exposure to the methods practitioners use in their efforts to combat human trafficking, as well as practical experience and skills-building using those methods. Students will be placed either within different program areas at the non-profit organization Free the Slaves or with one of the several D.C.-area anti-trafficking NGOs who work closely in coalition with Free the Slaves. Student will meet weekly with the professors to discuss readings and share their work experiences. The course will cover developing local capacity and partnering with existing community organizations to create community-based and community-driven strategies; drafting anti-trafficking legislation; human rights researching and reporting; developing and utilizing grassroots constituencies; and legislative and administrative advocacy both here and abroad. The reading component of the course will focus on practitioner materials: reports from experts, advocacy materials, media articles, and practitioners’ guides. The reading material will prepare students for their experiential practice both by giving them the necessary knowledge base on the issues, as well as by exposing them to the required skill set, and to the various strategies and approaches anti-trafficking practitioners employ.
Recommended: International Trafficking in Persons. Prerequisites: Students must complete the required first-year program prior to enrolling in this course (part-time and interdivisional transfer students may enroll prior to completing Criminal Justice, Property, or their first-year elective).
Students may not concurrently enroll in this practicum and an externship or a clinic (except Street Law) or another practicum course.
THIS IS A PRACTICUM COURSE.