Modern Abolition: The Practice of Ending Child Labor and Human Trafficking (FIELDWORK PRACTICUM)
Professors Stauss and Hartman
J.D. Practicum 1093
| 4 credit hours
In fieldwork practicum courses, students participate in weekly seminars and conduct related fieldwork at outside organizations. This fieldwork practicum 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 participate in a two hour/week seminar and carry out 10 hours/week of fieldwork at Free the Slaves or another D.C.-area anti-trafficking NGO.
SEMINAR: In the two-credit, graded, seminar portion of the practicum, students will learn about how practitioners are working to fight human trafficking. 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. 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 fieldwork 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.
FIELDWORK: In the two-credit, mandatory pass-fail, fieldwork portion of the practicum, 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.
Recommended: International Trafficking in Persons. Prerequisite: 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 or another practicum course.
Students who wish to receive credit for the Externship Seminar and a practicum course that has the same field placement may do so only if: (1) the practicum course is taken in a semester following the Externship Seminar; and (2) the student receives permission from the Assistant or the Associate Dean for Clinical Programs. To receive such permission, the student must explain in writing how the practicum course field work would serve substantially different learning goals than did their externship field placement.
This practicum course is open to LL.M. students, space permitting. Interested LL.M. students should email Louis Fine (firstname.lastname@example.org) to request admission.
This course is suitable for evening students who can commit to attending class and working 10 hours/week (during business hours) on site at Free the Slaves or another D.C. area anti-trafficking NGO.
This is a four credit course. Two credits will be awarded for the two-hour weekly seminar and two credits for approximately 10 hours of supervised fieldwork per week, for a minimum of 11 weeks, to be scheduled with the faculty. The fieldwork must be completed during normal business hours. The seminar portion will be graded. The two credits of fieldwork are mandatory pass/fail and counts toward the pass/fail limit. Students will be allowed to take another course pass/fail in the same semester as the fieldwork.
Students who enroll in this course will be automatically enrolled in both the seminar and fieldwork components and may not take either component separately. A student wishing to withdraw from the course will be withdrawn from both the seminar and fieldwork components.
Default attendance rule for all practicum courses (unless the professor indicates otherwise): Regular and punctual attendance is required at all practicum seminars and fieldwork placements. Students in project-based practicum courses are similarly required to devote the requisite number of hours to their project. If a student must miss seminar, fieldwork, or project work, he or she must speak to the professor as soon as possible to discuss the absence. Unless the professor indicates otherwise, a student with more than one unexcused absence from the practicum seminar (out of 13 total seminar sessions), or one week of unexcused absences from the fieldwork or project work (out of a total of 11 weeks of fieldwork or project work), may receive a lower grade or, at the professor’s discretion, may be withdrawn from the practicum course.
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