Child and Family Law Courses
202: Human Trafficking Seminar
The sexual exploitation and trafficking of minors has reached a crisis point, both in the United States and abroad. The United States Congress has responded to this ever-increasing threat by passing extensive legislative enactments aimed at deterring this pernicious activity, providing severe – and often controversial – punishment for those who engage in it. While federal and state prosecutions in this area are at an all-time high, law enforcement and prosecutors continue to miss critical opportunities because they fail to fully understand the nature of the threat, and lack a solid grasp on the integrated arsenal of statutory tools at their disposal. Similarly, members of the judiciary, as well as victim advocates and pretrial service officers, may appreciate the laws on the proverbial books, but often lack familiarity with the sophisticated means employed by organized criminal group and the role of public corruption involved in the large-scale exploitation of children. They also misunderstand the rationalization through which individuals engaged in the exploitation of children tend to self justify their conduct, and have never confronted the statistical realities challenging the belief in meaningful rehabilitation of sex offenders. Put simply, although the complex and inter-related legislative anti-exploitation and anti-trafficking framework is now the firmly established law of the land, its theoretical and practical nuances are widely misunderstood, and indeed are all too frequently not understood at all, by the very professionals entrusted with the difficult task of protecting humanity’s most vulnerable.
This seminar will start with the statutory analysis rendered more comprehensible through the vehicle of real-world examples from the experience of Judge Kendall who will explain the history and present-day reality of the federal response to child exploitation. The seminar will analyze the various laws that govern the roles of the stakeholders: prosecutors, defense attorneys, judges, immigration officials, pretrial services officers, and victim advocates. The seminar will further explore all of the victim issues that make these cases complex and challenging. Students will explore victims' needs, rights, and opportunities for redress including restitution and expungement of criminal records. Students will hear first hand from federal agents who have prosecuted human trafficking cases; will see and hear the evidence presented to federal juries, will hear from a victim of the crime, and will learn from those victim advocates who seek to redress the harms inflicted upon victims.
The seminar will span two days and have multiple speakers and employ an interactive question and answer format. Students will be required to submit a 15 page paper on a topic of interest from the seminar for a final grade.
The Instructor: Honorable Virginia M. Kendall