Post by: Landon Whitley
My name is Landon Whitley, and I am a 1L student staff member for the Center for Global Justice. As a 1L, having the opportunity to work on real-life issues is incredible. In the short time that I have been on staff, I realized how rewarding this opportunity truly is.
This semester I am working alongside four other student staff members on a project for International Justice Mission (IJM). IJM is a non-profit with an international presence that seeks to combat slavery, violence against women and children, and police abuse of power through integrated communal and national work. I am specifically working on a project with IJM Eastern Europe. Together, our team is assembling a comparative analysis of prosecutions, convictions, and sentences across Europe, focusing on various countries.
I have found the project to be incredibly insightful. Over the past decade, there has been an increased focus on the need for countries to tackle human trafficking. As stated in the opening of the United States’ 2020 Trafficking in Persons Report, “human trafficking is a global threat necessitating a global response.” There are nearly 25 million individuals who are being refused their fundamental freedoms because of slavery worldwide. It takes a multilateral front to further combat and fight for the elimination of slavery.
Researching this project invokes simultaneous feelings of encouragement and concern. Mulling over the European human trafficking stats for the past couple of years makes one realize how far the movement has come and how far it still has to go. The war against human trafficking is a battle that takes the continued efforts of every government and individual. There has never been a more critical moment to step into spaces to educate and advocate for the 25 million oppressed—the work of this project aids in that mission. Multilateral strategy requires the knowledge of the battle’s present status to determine how to continue moving forward. That is what is being accomplished through our research.
Personally, this project has fueled my drive to fight and be an advocate. Hearing about the effects of human trafficking motivates one to get involved, but being in the midst of the movement pushes one further to sacrifice and serve. We all have a part to play, and this project helped me envision my role: to serve, to speak up, and to fight for those who do not have the freedom to fight for themselves.
“Open your mouth for the mute, for the rights of all who are destitute. Open your mouth, judge righteously, defend the rights of the poor and needy.”Proverbs 31: 8-9 (ESV)
This post was written by a Center for Global Justice Student Staff member. The views expressed in this post do not necessarily reflect those of Regent University, Regent Law School, or the Center for Global Justice.