When you think of human trafficking, what images come to mind? Last month, Professor Elizabeth Campbell spoke about misconceptions, research gaps, the various experiences and complex needs of survivors of trafficking, in a webinar sponsored by IRWG’s Initiative on Gender-Based Violence and Sexual Harassment.
Campbell is a clinical assistant professor and co-director of the Human Trafficking Clinic (HTC) at the University of Michigan Law School. Launched in 2009, the HTC is the first clinical law program solely dedicated to the issue of human trafficking. The clinic trains law students in core advocacy skills and practice providing comprehensive legal services to clients, under the supervision of faculty lawyers. With over a decade of providing legal services to human trafficking victims, Campbell and her students have a unique perspective on the lived experiences, misconceptions, and challenges of data collection surrounding this vulnerable population.
Broadly, under the law, human trafficking is compelled service. It may fall under the category of labor or sex trafficking, which occur through a process of recruiting through coercion, fraud, or physical abuse. Victims may be U.S. or foreign nationals, requiring different engagement with government agencies — from state level court systems to the federal immigration system.