3/23/17

CBNNews Story on Child Sacrifice in Uganda

Today the 700 Club aired an exclusive story about how hundreds of Ugandan children are kidnapped and murdered each year as part of a thriving human sacrifice business.

CBNNews interviewed Peter Sewakiryanga, Founder and Executive Director of Kyampisi Childcare Ministries (a Christian NGO dedicated to protecting Ugandan children), and Judge Mike Chibita, the Directorate of Public Prosecutions.

In the summer of 2013, the Center for Global Justice sent Heather Pate as the first legal intern to work with Kyampisi Childcare Ministries (KCM). Since then, our student staff has continued to support KCM through student staff projects.  The Center was privileged to host Peter Sewakiryanga in the fall of 2015.

This past summer, Center for Global Justice intern Debbie Stieglitz had the opportunity to work with Judge Chibita on two child sacrifice cases. You can read about justice being done for one of those children just three days ago here >

View the CBNNews story tonight at 11pm EST on the 700 Club or view the video below.

WARNING: Some of the content in this report is disturbing and will be unsuitable for younger viewers.




3/20/17

Justice for Hope

After seven years, it finally happened! The witch doctor who brutally tortured Hope for 1.5 years has been convicted of kidnapping with the intent to murder, and he will spend the next 45 years in prison (at his age, a life sentence).



As we have written about before, the Center for Global Justice had the opportunity to help with this case last year, and it has been on our hearts and prayers ever since. For several reasons, this case has been ongoing for quite some time, and at moments it seemed like this day might not come. So, we could not be more overjoyed at the result. Thank you to everyone who prayed for justice for Hope!



“The Lord is slow to anger but great in power; the Lord will not leave the guilty unpunished. His way is in the whirlwind and the storm, and the clouds are the dust of his feet.” Nahum 1:3

3/7/17

Student Staff Update: Lorri Ann Drazan

This blog post was written by 1L Lorri Ann Drazan

This semester I have had the privilege to join the Center for Global Justice student staff as a first-year law student. Over the last few months, I have been working on a research project for Shared Hope International. Shared Hope is an organization that is dedicated to ending sex trafficking with a focus on prevention, restoration, and justice. My research has involved analyzing statutes in all 50 states to determine the possible repercussions on victim-offenders of statutes aimed at facilitators. Victim-offenders may perform similar acts like those of sex trafficking facilitators; however, victim-offenders often have no choice due to the amount of control the trafficker has over them. So far I have completely analyzed the statutes in three states and have begun analysis on six more states. Shared Hope will use our statutory analysis in implementing recommendations to state legislators to improve state laws regarding facilitators and victim-offenders.

My work on this project has specifically piqued my interest in human trafficking. In fact, I will be interning with an organization in Israel over the summer where I will have the opportunity to work on human trafficking issues. During my interview, my internship employer was impressed with the fact that I have had exposure to researching these issues as a first-year law student. I am grateful for the opportunity to work on real legal research as a law student that I can then transfer into my summer work experience. The Center for Global Justice student staff is a great way to succeed in (what I like to call) the “backpack to briefcase” transition.

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.

Advancing Religious Freedom in Turkey

For the past several months I’ve been researching, drafting, and editing a book that the Center for Global Justice is writing regarding religious freedom in Turkey.  Our project centers on the right of individuals in Turkey to gather with others and worship as communities of believers.

Although religious practices are certainly very personal and, at times, private, people of faith find greater meaning when they are able to do so with like-minded believers.  Freedom of religion is connected to freedom of association, two rights that are protected under international law.  Specifically, religious groups have the legal right to establish a place of worship, and the benefits that come with that status.  Religious groups also should have the right to “legal personality,” that is, to collectively take legal actions, such as purchasing or renting property.  In Turkey, however, these rights are threatened for minority religious groups such as Christians and Jehovah Witnesses.

This blog post was written by student staff member Jon Greig


Turkey, by ratifying the European Convention on Human Rights, has agreed to abide by its legal standards, among which include both freedom of religion and association.  A recent European Court of Human Rights case, CASE OF İZZETTİN DOĞAN AND OTHERS v. TURKEY (2016), is going to be featured in our book.  In this case, the Court held that the government of Turkey violated a minority religious group’s freedom of religion, in part by failing to grant legal status to a minority Muslim group’s places of worship. 

The Court stated,

"[T]he absence of a clear legal framework governing unrecognised religious minorities ... causes numerous additional legal, organisational and financial problems ... Firstly, the ability to build places of worship is uncertain and is subject to the good will of the central or local authorities. Secondly, the communities in question cannot officially receive donations from members or State subsidies. Thirdly, as they lack legal personality, these communities do not have access to the courts in their own right but only through foundations, associations or groups of followers. Furthermore, religious communities trying to operate as a foundation or an association face numerous legal obstacles ..."



There’s no question that all religious groups in any nation, including Turkey, should have the freedom to freely practice their religions without state interference, including the right to worship together and build houses of worship.  In this light, I am hopeful that our project will educate and empower people of faith in Turkey to exercise their religious freedoms.

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.

3/6/17

CGJ Student Staff Blog Post: Courtney Knox

As a first-year law student, and new member of the student staff, it has been a wonderful opportunity getting to work with the Center for Global Justice. To witness not only the great legal work being done but the selflessness and dedication my peers bring to each and every project in order to help the poor and the oppressed is truly humbling. The first year of law school is scary and overwhelming to say the least. But working with the Center has been the best experience, and many times, is a reminder of why I came to law school in the first place. Joining the Center this semester has provided me a unique opportunity to take what I’m learning in the classroom and work on a legal project that is aimed at helping those who are victims of sex trafficking.

1L Courtney Knox
Specifically, I have been working on a project for Shared Hope International analyzing the laws of the 50 states in order to determine how they may apply to victim-offenders. A victim-offender is one who is a trafficking victim herself, but has been forced to take actions that resemble that of a trafficker. Many times, because a victim-offender can look just like a trafficker, they are being unduly prosecuted and are not being protected under the law. With the states I am assigned, my job is to analyze their statutes and determine whether they include certain language that would allow a victim-offender to be prosecuted under it. Further, if it is determined that they can be prosecuted under such a statute, I have to determine whether it would also require them to (a) register as a sex offender or (b) have their parental rights terminated. With this information, Shared Hope will be able to identify which states need better laws to protect trafficking victims and can push for better legislation that will actually protect victim-offenders.

Victims of sex trafficking should never be criminalized for committing actions they were forced to do. I’m so excited to be a part of working to change laws so that they protect, rather than criminalize, victims of sex trafficking.

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.

3/2/17

Student Staff Update: Chelsea Mack

This semester I am working on a project for Justice Ventures International (JVI).  JVI focuses on rescuing and restoring individuals trapped in human trafficking, empowering individuals stuck in cycles of poverty, and promoting justice for vulnerable people groups. This particular project entails researching numerous federal, state, and local laws regarding the creation and continuous obligations of nonprofit organizations.  All of this research will be compiled into a business toolkit that JVI can use to help nonprofit organizations that they call “freedom businesses.” These businesses employ former victims of human trafficking, and the toolkit will be used help them to fulfill all of their legal and tax requirements.  Most of the research involves looking through code sections for requirements for small businesses in addition to finding the exemptions for nonprofit organizations.

Chelsea Mack

Although reading through numerous sections of codes may become mundane at some moments, this project focuses on an area of law which fascinates me: nonprofit law.  Even before coming to law school, I had an interest in nonprofit organizations. Furthermore, last summer, I took a Nonprofit, Tax-Exempt Organizations course which turned out to be one of my favorite courses in law school.  Now I am able to apply some of the information that I learned in that course to this project which will hopefully be able to help former victims of human trafficking.  This project approaches global justice work in a nontraditional way, but the project is still vital to the restoration work conducted by JVI.

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.

2/13/17

Student Staff Projects for Spring 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. International Justice Mission/Rule of Law, Domestic Violence, & Land Grabbing:IJM works in Uganda to protect women from violence and to protect widows and children from the scourge of land grabbing. We are drafting two legal memoranda that will aid IJM in this work. The first memo relates to the proper procedures for prosecuting domestic violence cases and how to obtain custody of children. The second memo provides legal analysis on how various common law countries handle the question of prosecuting a defendant for multiple offenses arising out of the same conduct.

  1. Kyampisi Childcare Ministries/Rule of Law & Protecting Children:KCM works to combat child sacrifice in Uganda. This past summer, the Center sent three interns to work with the Director of Public Prosecutions. Our interns informed the DPP of one child sacrifice case that the Center has worked on previously and noted potential legal defects in the trial against the witch doctor. After reviewing the file, the DPP, with the help of our students, drafted a legal appeal. The court recently agreed to hear the appeal. We drafted a legal memo for KCM and our other partners on why the case should be overturned and a new trial should be granted against the witch doctor. We will provide ongoing support as the case progresses.

  1. Uganda Christian University/Protecting Children:Uganda is considering making abortion legal in certain circumstances. The Center is drafting a policy paper in conjunction with Uganda Christian University that argues why Uganda is not legally obligated to change its abortion laws and neither should it change its abortion laws as a matter of policy.

  1. Shared Hope/Sex Trafficking and Protecting Children:
    Shared Hope works to combat the sex trafficking of children in the United States. One of the ways it does this is through the Protected Innocence Challenge, a 50-state survey that comprehensively reviews the laws of every state and makes recommendations on how each state can and should improve its laws as they relate to sex trafficking. We are helping Shared Hope update the PIC by conducting a 50-state analysis of how state trafficking laws criminalize conduct of victim-offenders (i.e., trafficking victims who are forced to traffic other women) and the consequences of being convicted (e.g., sex offender registration).

  1. Justice Ventures International/Human Trafficking:
    Justice Ventures International fights sex and labor trafficking in India. JVI often provides legal assistance to non-profit organizations that provide employment and services to trafficking victims. To aid these organizations, the Center is putting together a legal toolkit that explains all the steps involved in creating a non-profit corporation.

  1. Turkey Project/Religious Freedom:
    The Center is working with key partners in Turkey to draft a short booklet/legal memo that explains the legal situation regarding religious freedom in Turkey. Although in theory a secular country, Turkey is becoming more and more Islamic, and Christians are facing persecuting. The Center is drafting a booklet that will educate the Turkish on what Turkish law actually says and inform Christians of their rights.

  1. Alliance Defending Freedom/Religious Freedom:ADF works to defend religious freedom in Europe. The Center monitors all new cases before the European Court of Human Rights to help ADF determine whether it wants to intervene in certain cases.