Human trafficking leaves no land untouched. In 2013 the U.S. State Department estimated that there are 27 million victims worldwide trafficked for forced labor or commercial sex exploitation. A 2011 report from the Department of Justice found that of more than 2,500 federal trafficking cases from 2008 to 2010, 82% concerned sex trafficking and nearly half of those involved victims under the age of 18. Scholars note that the phenomenon represents a serious health issue for women and girls worldwide. Beyond the human cost, trafficking may also compromise international security, weaken the rule of law and undermine health systems.
Since the United Nations adopted the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children in 2000, global efforts have been made by the international community to address the growing problem. Challenges remain significant, however, in particular because of its profitability: According to the International Labor Organization, human trafficking is a $32 billion industry, second only to illicit drugs. A 2011 paper in Human Rights Review found that sex slaves cost on average $1,895 each while generating $29,210 annually, leading to “stark predictions about the likely growth in commercial sex slavery in the future.”
A 2012 study published in World Development, “Does Legalized Prostitution Increase Human Trafficking?” investigates the effect of legalized prostitution on human trafficking … Read More »
The 20th International Development Conference at Harvard is less than three weeks away! The conference will have over 15 panels and several keynotes with amazing speakers such as:
Esther Duflo, Co-Founder and Director of JPAL
Kris Balderston from the Fleishman-Hillard Washington, DC Office
John MacArthur, Senior Fellow at the UN Foundation
Jane Wales, CEO the Global Philanthropy Forum and the World Affairs Council and the Vice President of Philanthropy at the Aspen Institute
See the full list of activities spanning April 11-12 and register for the conference on the IDC 2014 website: http://harvardidc.com/.
What is Development?: Reconciling Harvard Law School’s Rights-focused and Private Law-focused Groups
Jan. 20, 2014 – Raj Banerjee
This past year, every LIDS event has begun with the question: “What is development?” Even though we are the Law and International Development Society, we have no concrete vision of what development is. And we are wise in having none. At Harvard Law School, where we are based, those interested in international issues or development studies tend to fall into one of two categories: the human rights group, and the private international law/business group. The first group sees progress as the achievement of several individual rights: the right to food, education, clean water, freedom of speech, essential medicines. The second group focuses on economic growth, and the public and private infrastructure that stems from and feeds that growth.
One of our goals as an organization is to build a community at the intersection of law, policy and international development. And to build that community we need to reconcile the two categories listed above. Despite the significant overlap between these categories, students in one group rarely converse with those in the other. I remember attending a symposium on investor-state arbitration last year where a noted arbitrator was asked about how human rights law or environmental law factored … Read More »