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Talking a Blue Streak: Human Trafficking Prevention Month

What links shrimp and chocolate? Both shrimp and chocolate are favorite foods of Americans. Both require a great deal of manual labor in the processing of shrimp (peeling) and chocolate (harvesting). Cheap labor makes both foods cheaper to purchase. Cocoa and foreign-harvested shrimp are frequently sold with slave labor at some point in their supply chains. Slave labor is the result of human trafficking. It is common associations like this that make one realize how enmeshed human trafficking is in our daily lives.

Human trafficking is “the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring or receipt of persons by threat or use of force, coercion, abduction, fraud, deception, abuse of power or vulnerability, or giving payments or benefits to a person in control of the victim, for the purpose of exploitation, which includes exploiting the prostitution of others, sexual exploitation, forced labour, slavery or similar practices and the removal of organs.”

The United Nations has adopted the Convention Against Transnational Organized Crime along with the “Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children”. The Convention and Protocol entered into force in 2003.

Many nations have anti-human trafficking initiatives. In the United States, January is National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month, which was started in 2011 by a presidential proclamation. January was selected as the commemorative month as it is the anniversary month of the Emancipation Proclamation. This past October marked the 20th anniversary of the passage of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000 (TVPA). The federal government has been tracking human trafficking and the State Department’s Trafficking in Persons report has been one of the most popular government titles since the agency first produced it. The government’s Blue Campaign works to raise awareness of human trafficking and to educate citizens to recognize the signs and report suspected trafficking; blue is the color of human trafficking awareness. Throughout January, government leaders, legislators, law enforcement, government workers, social workers, and lawyers are working to raise awareness of this human rights challenge.

Billboard. Photo by Flickr user Mayor McGinn Jan. 29, 2013. Used under Creative Commons license, https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0.

Laws Involving Animals – Real and Mythical

While speaking with friends recently, our conversation turned to our pets. My friends own two guinea pigs and they told me that guinea pig adoption can be a complex process. For example, they stated that in some countries, people are prohibited from owning only one guinea pig. Of course, I had to look into this […]

Artificial “Judges”? – Thoughts on AI in Arbitration Law

The following is a guest post by Viktoria Simone Fritz, a foreign law intern working with Foreign Law Specialist Jenny Gesley at the Global Legal Research Directorate of the Law Library of Congress. Wouldn’t it be great to just put all documents submitted and produced in a specific legal dispute into a machine, wait a few seconds – or let’s […]

A Recording of the Law Library’s Foreign Legal Gazettes Database Webinar is Now Available

On December 8, 2020, Law Library staff presented a webcast on our new Foreign Legal Gazettes Database. The participants included Kurt Carroll, chief of the Collection Services Division; Elina Lee, metadata technician in the Digital Resources Division; Ken Sigmund, lead technician in the Collection Services Division; and me, Betty Lupinacci, supervisor in the Collection Services […]

Watch a Recording of our Human Rights Day Panel Discussion on Contact Tracing and the Right of Privacy

On December 10th, at 3pm EST, the Law Library of Congress held our annual Human Rights Day event. Each year, the Law Library of Congress commemorates Human Rights Day with a special program that promotes understanding and recognition of a critical social, economic, or cultural human rights issue. This year, Associate Professor at the University […]

Join Us on January 28 for a Foreign and Comparative Law Webinar on the French Civil Code

The following is a guest post from Nicolas Boring, the foreign law specialist covering French-speaking jurisdictions at the Law Library of Congress. Nicolas has previously blogged about Telework and the French “Right to Disconnect”, Report on Right of Huguenots to French Citizenship, “Bastille Day” Is About More Than the Bastille, and other topics. The French Civil Code, which Napoleon […]

Ring in 2021 with Law Library of Congress U.S. Law Webinars

The Law Library’s Public Services Division staff is welcoming the new year by providing two legal research webinars this month, and we invite you to celebrate with us! Please see further information about these webinars, below. Orientation to Legal Research: U.S. Case Law Date: Thursday, January 14, 2021, 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. EST Content: […]