Monday, April 6, 2009

Human trafficking clinic to open at 'U' this fall

By Veronica Menaldi
Daily Staff Reporter On April 5th, 2009

A new University Law School clinic will be one of the first in the country to take aim at human trafficking — or, as one official calls it, “modern day slavery.”

The clinic will focus on a growing industry that now involves the illegal trafficking of 60,000 to 80,000 people per year across international borders — the majority of whom are women and children sold into sex industries, according to the U.S. Immigration Lawyers website.

Law School students will operate the clinic and provide legal representation to human trafficking victims in the United States.

The students will also work on international law reform projects to help strengthen anti-human trafficking laws in other countries.

Bridgette Carr, a visiting clinical assistant professor at the Law School, who worked on a similar project at the University of Notre Dame last year, will lead the clinic.

Carr said that while human trafficking most commonly takes place in the sex trade industry, this “modern day slavery” also exists in many other forms, for example, in businesses-like hair salons.

“It is estimated that worldwide slavery is more prevalent now than at any other time in history,” she said.

Aaron Wenzloff, a second-year Law student, said he plans to participate in the human trafficking clinic this fall. Wenzloff was involved in an Urban Communities Clinic led by Carr last fall and said he thought this opportunity would be a “great fit” for him.

Stemming the mounting trend in human trafficking involves more than simply stopping the traffickers, Wenzloff said.

“Part of the role of a lawyer is to tackle problems holistically, and that means helping find supportive housing programs, education programs, and other social services for the victims,” he said.

Read more here.

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