Forced Labor. Human Trafficking. Modern Slavery. The Josef Korbel School of International Studies' Human Trafficking Clinic's information in the Cyber Café last Tuesday may have been small, but the issues were overwhelming.
An estimated 1.2 million children are trafficked each year, while another 1.5 million people are in forced labor at any given time as a result of human trafficking, according to the United Nations Global Initiative to Fight Human Trafficking (UN.GIFT). This is a social problem that persists everywhere- in South East Asia, in Central Europe, and even here in Colorado.
Which is why members of the Human Trafficking Clinic, founded in 2008 by Professor and Special Rapporteur to the UN.GIFT, Claude d'Estrée, spread ideas for advocacy, sold t-shirts and handed out stickers to contribute to national Human Trafficking Awanress Day on Jan 11.
"There are so many misconceptions out there about human trafficking and such a lack of knowledge. It's important for people to understand that it happens everywhere and is modern slavery," said Sarah Jessup, a second-year associate at the Clinic.
In partnership with the organization Transitions Global, the Clinic brought Cambodian survivors of human trafficking to the Josef Korbel School during the Fall 2010 quarter. Over 130 people attended the event, which was labeled, "It Begins with a Girl," to hear the experiences of teenage girls who were being rehabilitated and reintegrated back into Cambodian society. The Clinic has recently accepted a new batch of associates and is gearing up for its annual event, Human Trafficking Awareness week, at the end of March.
"Last year's Human Trafficking Awareness Week was a blast and we had so much support from the Josef Korbel School students, faculty, and the greater Denver community," said Alex Monroe, associate director of the clinic. "We're hoping that this year's Awareness Week is even better."
-Nirvana Bhatia, Master's candidate in International Human Rights
Josef Korbel School of International Studies