The University of Michigan Law School has received a $300,000 federal grant to open a human trafficking clinic in Mexico.
The school already has the Human Trafficking Clinic at home, the first legal clinic dedicated solely to trafficking. The clinic allows students to exercise their practical skills in the legal field in addition to running community outreach and education initiatives. Founder Bridgette Carr explains, “Not only do the students gain valuable advocacy skills, they have been … instrumental in protecting victims’ rights, in shaping the policy conversation, and in drafting the language used in amendments to trafficking laws.”
The new clinic to open in 2011 in Zacatecas, Mexico will have U-M law students will assist in cases and train staff, working alongside the NGO Centro de los Derechos del Migrante (Center for Migrant Rights) and the law school Universidad Autónoma de Zacatecas, Unidad Académica de Derecho.
CDM founder and executive director Rachel Micah-Jones comments, “This clinical partnership is an exciting, innovative and true collaboration between CDM and law school clinics on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border. Students will provide legal representation to vulnerable migrant communities those legal needs often cross borders. In doing so, students will develop the skills to be transnational advocates in this new ecoconmy.”
The U.S. estimates that 20,000 people are trafficked into the U.S. each year.