Working with Justice Ventures International to Help Residents in West Bengal

CGJ Student Staff Member Shannon Fields

Throughout the semester, I had the privilege of working for Justice Ventures International. I worked on a team with two other law students to compile statutes and case law regarding entitlements (or human rights) granted to individuals in West Bengal, India.

There were thirty-seven entitlements that our team researched. It was a long, tedious process due to the nature of the task and the lack of a sophisticated research database. Each entitlement took several hours to thoroughly research and summarize the findings.

Our work will be added to a manual which serves to help residents of West Bengal seek services such as the availability to water, electric, and food. Our work will help attorneys fight for the rights of the poor in India who may not have access to such necessities.

I am confident that each hour invested into this project has benefitted the people in West Bengal, and I love being part of what God is doing all across the world.

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.


The Unique Needs of Juvenile Sex Trafficking Victims

My name is Courtney Knox and I am a 2L serving as a law clerk for the Center for Global Justice.

This semester I have had the privilege to work on a project for Shared Hope researching alternative processes to the traditional juvenile justice procedures, like dependency and delinquency, that juvenile trafficking victims may be able to go through.

Before I started this project, it never occurred to me that when these juveniles are brought through the system, many times after being brought into custody by a law enforcement officer, their status as a trafficking victim is not taken into account during the proceedings. If these juveniles are not being recognized for what they are – victims – then they are not going to truly get the treatment and help they really need.

It gives me hope when states have recognized the need to care for trafficking victims differently and treat their specific needs. However, only certain states actually offer specialized services specifically for trafficking victims.

It would be a major step, and extremely beneficial, for each state to offer specialized services for victims because of the unique trauma that trafficking victims have faced.

The more states that recognize the unique needs that juvenile sex trafficking victims have, the better it will be for those victims that end up going through the juvenile justice system as a consequence of their victimization.

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.


Alumni Profile: Sarah Breyer

 Many of Regent Law's 3,300+ alumni have worked or are presently working to bring justice to the oppressed and promote the rule of law around the world. We hope you enjoy reading the following alumni profiles, which represent just a small portion of our many alumni literally changing the world.

Sarah Breyer
JD Class of 2015
LL.M. Class of 2016

Sarah joined Shared Hope International’s policy team in 2016. Shared Hope “strives to prevent the conditions that foster sex trafficking, restore victims of sex slavery, and bring justice to vulnerable women and children.”

While serving on the Center for Global Justice’s student staff, Sarah had the opportunity to assist Shared Hope with their Protected Innocence Challenge, the nation’s only comprehensive survey of state child sex trafficking laws. Though Sarah always had a passion for helping vulnerable women and children, it was this work that inspired Sarah to obtain her LL.M. in human rights law and to join the fight to end child sex trafficking.

Her experiences at the Center for Global Justice ultimately led to a full-time position with Shared Hope. As policy counsel, Sarah now leads the Protected Innocence Challenge project—updating advocacy materials to reflect the latest legislative advancements and compiling national state law surveys. She further aids her team’s advocacy efforts by tracking legislation introduced in all 50 states and DC that relates to the commercial sexual exploitation of children.

Each November, every state receives a grade based on a thorough statutory analysis of existing law. Since its launch, the Protected Innocence Challenge has seen the national grade average rise from 59.1% in 2011 to 82% in 2017. For Sarah, this 23 point jump is just the beginning. “There’s still a great deal of work to be done, but I’m excited to be a part of this national change going forward.”

Read more alumni profiles >


CGJ Student Staff Update from Maria Cabrera

Hello, Everyone!

My name is Maria Cabrera, and this is my second year with the Center for Global Justice, Human Rights, and the Rule of Law (CGJ). I am a second-year Master in Law student with Regent University School of Law. My favorite part of the CGJ is learning about people and different cultures throughout the world.

We’re approaching the end of the fall semester and I’m helping the Law Clerks finish their research on the entitlement programs in West Bengal, India for Justice Ventures International.

Recently, I’ve been working on the entitlements for education. West Bengal’s education system includes entitlements for West Bengal Department of School Education: Government Schools, Scholarships and Benefits, and Open Schooling.

Retrieved from: Hindustan Times

Government Schooling

The “Manual for West Bengal-Advocating with the Poor” mentions, the Government Schooling system as one of the main ways the gap between the rich and poor grows in India and seeks to improve the quality of education for West Bengal’s poor. The School Education Department for West Bengal is headquartered in Bikash Bhawan Bidhannagar (Salt Lake), Kolkata and is the principal authority to implement educational policies for the primary and secondary schools in West Bengal. In private organizations and religious institutions, the students are taught in English or Bengali, or Urdu, a registered language of the Hindustani language taught in Kolkata. After attending secondary school, the “10+2+3 plan encourages students to enroll for two years at a junior college (pre-university) that is related to West Bengal Council of Higher Secondary Education.

Retrieved from: Times of India

Open Schooling

from www.twbcros.org
Lastly, West Bengal’s Open Schooling entitlement gives people who are not able to attend a formal school setting an opportunity to study. Many dropped out of school when they were young. However, as a young adult realize they want to return to school. Others work many hours or have a family so Open Schooling provides a chance to jumpstart their education and reinvent themselves.

According to “A Manual for West Bengal-Advocating with the Poor,” the Indian Open School has approximately 1.5 million students enrolled at the Secondary and Senior Secondary levels. Lakhs (hundred thousand) of people have benefited from the Indian Open School. The Indian Open School plays a critical role in making it possible for these adult students to study at home.

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.


CGJ Student Staff Projects for Fall 2017

We wanted to provide a brief update on the work of the Center this semester. Every semester the Center for Global Justice student staff completes legal projects for other organizations.

Currently, we are working on a number of important projects, and we welcome your prayers for each. The projects are listed based on the organization for whom the project is done and the human rights issue that it covers:

  1. Shared Hope: We continue to assist Shared Hope with the Protected Innocence Challenge, a comprehensive 50-state survey that grades each state with respect to its legislative framework for combatting child sex trafficking. This semester our project focuses on researching and analyzing the laws of the fifty states with respect to alternative court processes for minors. The goal is to determine which process is best suited for child sex trafficking victims and whether changes to the processes need to be made to better protect these victims. We also are assisting Shared Hope with researching whether any state has passed new legislation that could impact their grades on the Protected Innocence Challenge.

  1. International Justice Mission: We are doing different projects for various IJM offices this semester. One relates to holding police officers accountable for their actions, and this project is largely confidential. The other projects relate to strengthening the rule of law and creating a case digest of all domestic violence cases in Uganda.  

  1. Justice Ventures International: JVI fights human trafficking in India and also works to protect the poor. This semester we are researching the laws of the state of West Bengal regarding various governmental entitlements that human trafficking victims and the poor can utilize. The goal of the research is to supplement a lawyers’ manual that will aid local lawyers in securing benefits for the poor.

  1. Handong/Mongolian Parliamentarian: In conjunction with Handong International Law School, we are researching the history of religious freedom in Mongolia, going all the way back to Genghis Khan empire. Surprisingly, Khan offered robust protections for religious minorities, including Christians. Ultimately, we would like to use our memo to advocate for Mongolia to enhance its protection of religious freedom.

  1. Kyampisi Childcare Ministries: KCM continues its great work of fighting child sacrifice in Uganda. Ugandan law allows for courts to order that the offender pay restitution to child sacrifice victims. We are drafting a memo on why restitution is a key piece of a criminal justice system, particularly for child sacrifice victims, and providing a draft order for courts to use. In addition to this project, we will assist KCM on any child sacrifice cases that come through the courts this semester.

  1. ADF International: In partnership with ADF International and various other pro-life groups, we drafted a submission to the United Nations Human Rights Committee arguing that abortion is not a protected right under Article 6, Right to Life, of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. To read our post, go here. To read more about the project, go here.


CGJ Student Staff Update from Shannon Fields

This blog post was written by 3L Shannon Fields.

This semester I have had the privilege to work on a project for Kyampisi Childcare Ministries (KCM). The organization fights child sacrifice in Uganda as well as provides rehabilitation for the victims. KCM asked the Center for Global Justice to write a memorandum about why restitution should be granted to child sacrifice victims and/or their families.

Although there is a statute which permits the courts to grant restitution to such victims, it is rarely implemented. Child sacrifice crimes not only cause extreme emotional hardship for the families, but they also cause financial hardships. It is not enough to remove the perpetrator from society. Steps should be taken to attempt to make the victim or victim’s family whole once again, and restitution is one of those steps. Restitution has the potential to provide financial relief to the victim’s family, and unfortunately, it is not being utilized in regard to child sacrifice crimes. The hope is that this memorandum will motivate judges to grant restitution to the victims to pay for their medical expenses, psychological treatment, and other needs. It is a privilege to get to encourage change in Uganda, a place near and dear to my heart.

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.


CGJ Executive Director Publishes New Book

On October 27, 2017, Center for Global Justice Executive Director Jeffrey Brauch published his third book: Flawed Perfection: What It Means To Be Human And Why It Matters For Culture, Politics, And Law.

In his book, Brauch argues that in order to properly address the most pressing issues facing our nation and world--such as human trafficking, genocide, protecting life in a world of advancing biotechnologies--we must first properly understand human nature. Only then can we properly confront such challenges.

The book addresses a number of issues that relate very directly to the work of the Center for Global Justice. Chapter 3, for example, goes to the root of why human trafficking exists and is flourishing today. It discusses various forms of human trafficking (from labor and sex trafficking to using child soldiers) and describes how each stems from both human fallenness and failing to see human beings as made in God’s image with dignity and worth.  This chapter, like all those that follow, offers practical counsel to those who seek to end this destructive practice.

Chapter 6 discusses human rights more generally. It applauds the significant efforts the human rights movement has made to protect vulnerable individuals.  But it also warns of the dangers facing the movement if it does not embrace a complete view of human nature.  For example, while the movement makes human dignity the centerpiece of its work, it does not always grasp the implications of human sin.  And by failing to do so, it threatens both the future of the movement and the protection of human rights. The chapter ends with a call for Christians to engage with the world of human rights and call it back to its original goal: to protect basic rights that belong to every human being because they are created in the image of God.

If you are interested in the work of the Center we encourage you to check out this book. Flawed Perfection is a nonpartisan examination of many issues that challenge Christians today—from human rights issues such as those described above to domestic issues like the proper role of government. And it provides the language to think carefully through and then respond to those issues with both gravity and grace.

Order a copy of Professor Brauch's book and a portion of proceeds go to CGJ when you use AmazonSmile >

Learn more about CGJ's Areas of Focus here >

About the author:

Jeffrey A. Brauch is a professor of law and former dean at Regent University School of Law in Virginia Beach, Virginia. During his more than twenty years at the school, he has taught classes on the Christian foundations of law, international human rights, criminal law, civil procedure, and the origins of the Western legal tradition. He also helped found and is the executive director of Regent’s Center for Global Justice, Human Rights, and the Rule of Law.