In a flurry of events last week, the Josef Korbel School’s Human Trafficking Clinic raised awareness about the real problems of trafficking, slavery and forced labor around the world and even in our own backyards. With an NGO panel, concert, art auction and other outreach events, the Clinic both raised awareness of its presence at the Josef Korbel School and on human trafficking in general.
“Without the knowledge that slavery exists, there can be no hope of eradicating it,” said Ron Soodalter, author of The Slave Next Door, who moderated an NGO panel and gave a lecture as part of the week’s events.
“The most successful events were probably the lecture by Ron Soodalter and the art auction because there were a lot of people not only from Korbel but also from the undergraduate and larger Denver community,” said Michelle Soli, a current research associate at the clinic and first year MA in International Human Rights student at the Josef Korbel School.
One of the only clinics of its kinds, the Human Trafficking Clinic offers a two-year training program for graduate students on the research issues of human trafficking. In addition to raising awareness, the events generated over $1,400 for the establishment of a journal on human trafficking and forced labor, due out this June.
Second year associates, all graduate students at the Josef Korbel School of International Studies, will be published in the journal as a culmination of their work with the clinic.
What was clear throughout the week was the broad spread of issues of forced labor and human trafficking. The topic can encompass everything from sexual trafficking to domestic servitude to ranch hands and restaurant workers. What many don’t realize is that this is not only an international problem—it takes place in our own cities and communities.
“Are we going to put a band aid on human trafficking or address the root causes? To address the root causes we need to look at ourselves,” said Stephanie Bell, Director of Programs at Prax(us), an anti-human trafficking organization based in Denver.
For more information about the Clinic’s mission and work, visit The Human Trafficking Clinic website.
- Sarah Crozier, MA Candidate, International Development
Josef Korbel School of International Studies