Technology's Effect on Abortion

Post by: Esther Neds

My name is Esther Neds and I am a 2L serving as a clerk for the Center for Global Justice, working on a project for Alliance Defending Freedom International. This semester I have been working specifically for ADF India by updating ADF with summaries of recent case law concerning sex-selective abortion law. India has strict laws concerning sonogram machines because of the trend in India to use that technology to determine the gender of the unborn baby, and if the baby is a girl, abort her. In fact, since the sonogram technology has been developed to determine the gender of the unborn baby, the number of girls per 1000 boys between the age of 0-6 years old dropped from 976 in 1961 to 914 in 2011.  Because of these alarming statistics the Indian government has prohibited the use of any pre-conception and prenatal diagnostic techniques to determine the sex of an unborn child. However, the courts have expressed many times that these laws, although a good thing, are not enough. Real change does not happen unless the culture changes. As long as men are still favored over women in Indian culture, people will continue trying to abort their baby girls.

Reading through some of these cases has made me consider the effect of technology on abortion in Indian compared to the effect of technology on abortion in the US. I have always considered technology to be a good thing in the US for the pro-life message. As science and technology advances it has become easier and easier to show that life does begin at conception, that these unborn babies are individual lives that deserve protection. However, that same technology in India has only allowed people to increase the number of abortions of little baby girls through sex-selective abortions. I think it has been a good reminder to me the strategies to address various human rights issues around the world will not be the same in every country and nor should they be. Changing laws to protect human rights is only half the battle. Changing the culture of how people think about the issue is the real factor that will determine whether the laws passed will have the intended effect. Strategies that work in one culture will fail in another.  Although sex-selective abortion laws in India do not make all abortions illegal, they are a good first step that way and, in the process, the laws protect the female population by promoting equality for women in India.

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.


Support for Survivors

Post by: Deanna Longjohn

This semester I have the honor of researching a couple of questions for International Justice Mission, Eastern Europe. International Justice Mission (IJM) is an international non-profit that fights violence against the poor. Their goal is to end injustice against the poor by fixing nations’ justice systems. Over the summer I had the honor of interning with IJM and it was an amazing experience. I am excited to be able to keep assisting the organization through this research project.

I am currently researching the provisions for civil compensation for victims of human trafficking that is set by the National Referral Mechanism. The National Referral Mechanism is a UK based framework that identifies victims of human trafficking and connects them with resources such as the Salvation Army and Legal Aid. Once victims are identified on substantial grounds as victims of human trafficking they are given a 45-day recovery and reflection period. Throughout this time-period they are able to work on legal issues surrounding their abuse. They are also able to process their abuse and begin the recovery process. The civil compensation for victims are done through torts and contract law.

This project has been of great interest to me since I am currently taking a Trafficking in Persons class through Regent Law’s MA program. In the class I have been learning about the United State’s criminal and civil provisions for trafficking victims. The United States provisions for human trafficking were put into place in 2000 by the legislature’s Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act (2000). The following re-authorization in 2003 added in civil remedies specifically for human trafficking.

The availability of civil remedies allowed survivors of human trafficking to directly confront their traffickers instead of having to rely on criminal proceedings by the state. The availability of civil remedies allows the survivor to feel empowered by having control of the case. Criminal remedies are beneficial, but they are taken out of the survivor’s control. The civil suit allows the survivor to be empowered and seek remedies that they want. 

I am so thankful to the Center for Global Justice for the ability to research interesting topics for a worthy cause. My experience at the Center has been such a blessing and I am so thankful and honored to be able to serve in this research capacity.

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.


Discovering How State Statutes Affect Demographics for At-Risk Trafficking

Post by: Brandon Akers

My name is Brandon Akers, and I am a 1L at Regent University School of Law.  Before attending Regent, I worked for a number of local non-profits while a student at The University of Chicago which focused on providing fine arts and educational resources to youth on the south side of Chicago.  While attending Regent, the faculty have consistently encouraged my class to view our studies and execution of examinations as serving God. I have been privileged to further expand this service by sharpening my legal research skills in a way that concurrently aids Shared Hope International reach their goals of bringing an end to trafficking at risk youths.

The primary focus of my team’s research has been determining how each state handles two demographics which are disproportionally susceptible to trafficking: minors under 18 who have been charged with a law violation and minors who “age out” of the foster care system. Some states may provide special protections these demographics, such as separating minors from arrested adults during all proceedings, extending child welfare services to a transitional age between 18 and 24, or providing specialized housing and preservation of essential documents for youths after they age out of the foster care system.  On the contrary, some states have laws which prescribe circumstances under which accelerate a minor’s entrance into adulthood by trying the minor as an adult and mixing the habitation of convicted minors with convicted adults.

Hopefully, Shared Hope International will be able to draw connections between the legal framework we provide and their own research to derive which policy decisions provide the best outcome for these at-risk demographics and minimize 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.


Interning in a Kingdom-Minded Organization

Post by: Hee Chan Yun

I am now working in Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) India as a legal intern. It is a 7-week internship and currently, our intern team is working on an important case of ADF that could possibly affect the lives of 2 million Christians in India.

Casteism was officially practiced in India and although it is now constitutionally forbidden, it had been so deeply rooted in society that it is still being practiced in many parts of the country, and people from the lower caste are still suffering from its aftermath and prolonging discrimination. The government being aware of this has been providing exclusive benefits to those population who used to be marked with the stamp of low Caste- the untouchables-in various fields such as political representation, government jobs and education, which could be compared to the affirmative action policies in the US provided to racial minorities.

However, the Indian government restricted such benefits to Hindu Dalits (a Hindi word for the untouchables) and refused to extend the benefits to Dalits that converted to other religions. Under political pressure, it extended the benefits to Dalits that professes Buddhism and Sikhism but has been denying such benefits to Dalit Christian converts. The government’s rational is that once a Dalit converts to another religion, he or she would not suffer from Casteism, since Casteism does not exist in other religions besides Hinduism. But it is an obvious disregard for the clear fact that Casteism being deeply rooted throughout Indian society, conversion to another religion would not alter society’s discriminatory attitude and the chronic economic, educational and social backwardness originating from centuries of Casteism.

Such denial of benefits to Dalit Christian converts has the effect of discouraging Dalits’ conversion to Christianity, or Dalit Christians pretending to be Hindi. We could sense the government’s hostility and resistance to the expansion of Christianity in the country, which could also be interpreted as the world’s struggle against God’s Kingdom.  

Therefore, our case is to tackle government’s policy of denying such benefits to Dalit Christian converts, and our job as interns is to compile as much data from reliable sources as possible to substantiate our point that Dalit Christian converts do suffer from discrimination as much as their Hindi counterparts, and denying such benefits is a clear violation of equal protection law under the Constitution.

We have been visiting Indian courts frequently, the Supreme Court as well as lower ones, which is a valuable experience- legally, culturally and socially. It is also a blessing to be in a warm, friendly Christian group. Research itself is no doubt a good training, and as for myself who lack practical work experience in an organization, the internship is helping me to learn how I should handle group work and behave in a collective force. But I am thankful merely for being given such an opportunity to be in a country, experiencing a totally different culture from my own, and to learn from Christians doing His work through law. There are more weeks ahead, and I wish to be closer to this family, and perhaps through working discover the Lord’s plan for my path ahead. I thank God and The Center for Global Justice for granting me such an opportunity!    

This post was written by a Center for Global Justice Intern. The views expressed in this post do not necessarily reflect those of Regent University, Regent Law School, or the Center for Global Justice.


The Christian Duty to Uphold Justice

Post by: Austin Coad

My name is Austin Coad and I am first-year law student at Regent University School of Law. I have the honor and privilege of working on the Student Staff for the Center of Global Justice here at Regent. I first learned about the Center in my first few weeks of attending Regent, I felt God’s call on my life to give some of my time and energy to work for the Center of Global Justice.

I grew up most of my life in Texas, and although I have only the highest praise about my home state, there are some dark realities that I have come to face. Houston is one of the largest hubs for human trafficking in the world. Immigrants that are fleeing oppression and civil unrest are coming to the southern border of Texas in order to find a better life for them and their families, but they are met with numerous obstacles that prevent them from receiving the opportunities that living in America affords. These are real issues that I have encountered and have made me realize that it is not enough to just sit idly by and hope that change comes.

The most influential people in my life have instilled in me the truth that all human beings are valuable and worth protecting. That God sees us as his children. That as a follower of Christ, I have a duty to uphold justice and fight persecution and oppression wherever it may be, in whatever form it manifests itself. That is why I am excited to join the student staff for the Center of Global Justice. The opportunity to come along side organizations that are not just sitting idly by, but are actively working to end the injustices that are present in Texas and around the globe.

Currently, I am working with the International Justice Mission in Eastern Europe. They are working to end human trafficking in that region of the world by working with governments to change or implement laws that will protect victims and punish offenders. My task is to collect data on the number of reported human traffickers in the area.

I am excited to be a part of this mission and look forward to seeing how my work and the work of the rest of the International Justice Mission team helps further the mission of ending human 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.


Interning for the Venice Commission

Post by: Hyejin Yun

It has already been two weeks since I have started my internship in Strasbourg. I am currently working for the Venice Commission (“Commission”), which is the Council of Europe’s advisory body on constitutional matters. 

On the first day after getting a badge from the main building of Council of Europe, I was introduced to the members of the Commission who were from the diverse countries by my supervisor Mr. Gael. They all happily welcomed me and I got a feeling that I will definitely love this place. Then I had a chance to attend a plenary session which is held every Monday in which all the members of Venice Commission come together and discuss the agenda for about an hour. The first meeting was quite hectic because the Commission had to provide urgent opinion for the Republic of Moldova. It was really interesting to hear people discussing over the constitutional matters in countries all over the world to help the states bring their legal and institutional structures into line with international standards in the fields of democracy, human rights and the rule of law.

After the meeting, I got some tasks from the people I met in the meeting and worked on those for the first week. Since Mr. Gael is in the Elections and Political Parties Division of the Commission, the first task that I got from his colleague was to index the Law on Parliamentary Elections of Turkey based on the thesaurus, which was similar to categorizing the provisions for the database. At first, it took me some time to get used to the thesaurus, but I used some supplementary resources such as the Code of Good Practice in Electoral Matters and studied by myself to finish the task. In the second week, I got another task which was to do a comparative research on the legal basis of the functional immunity of ombudsman in countries including the member states of the Commission, South Africa and some Asian countries.  This one was a little bit more interesting because through comparative analysis, I could see the degree of compliance of the country to the Commission’s ombudsman principles. Also, I felt very responsible because I was informed that the result of the research will be used later on for giving advice to the countries that still don’t have a proper ombudsman system. 

Other than working in the office, I also had a chance to visit European Parliament and attended a session of debates on cases of breaches of human rights, democracy and the rule of law. The first topic was what should be the stance of European Parliament in promoting freedom of expression in Burundi in relation with the four journalists being captivated in the country. The second one was about the recent terrorist attacks against Christians on Christmas day in Nigeria. According to the instruction by the president, the speakers took turns and made an assertion on what the European Parliament should do. It was interesting to see the people discussing over the matters happening in the opposite part of the world, and debating how to make this world a better place.

Everyday, I am amazed to see how important this small city can be and I have come to love this city so much. I have four weeks left for my internship, so I will try to use time wisely, learn more and work hard for the grace of God.

This post was written by a Center for Global Justice Intern. The views expressed in this post do not necessarily reflect those of Regent University, Regent Law School, or the Center for Global Justice.


Learning to See Mission in the Law

Post by: Anna Edwards

My name is Anna Edwards and I am a 1L student at Regent University School of Law. I was born and raised in Greenville, South Carolina and graduated from Clemson University with a Bachelor of Science in Economics and a minor in Non-Profit Leadership. Before attending law school, I had the privilege of working for a global nonprofit organization in East Africa. While working in East Africa, a desire has surfaced within me to lay my life down and partner with God as he brings emotional, spiritual, physical, and mental freedom to his people. My initial plan was to move from America to East Africa to work for a global nonprofit missions organization. I desired to abandon the world’s definition of success and devote my whole life to love and serve God and his people. However, I was ignorant that becoming a missionary abroad was not the only way to devote my life to service.

During my second three-month stint in East Africa, I was heavily exposed to human rights violations such as child marriages and female genital mutilation. It was through this experience that God began to open my eyes to the depth of injustice faced by many of His children abroad. God began to reveal to me that I was to attend law school and obtain a legal education and become a surrendered instrument of God to bring spiritual and physical freedom to His people. My perspective shifted as I realized that truly loving and serving God looks like pouring out my everyday life and gifts before God, rooting myself in Him as He faithfully leads me into the fullness of what He wants to do through my life. I believe I am to make Him known to others by being an intercessor for the Lord’s justice and liberty for His people. 

Attending law school was a greater leap of faith for me than moving to East Africa, but it has quickly become one of the steps I am the most grateful for. At Regent, I have discovered the passions God has placed within me to serve Him are not exclusive from the legal skills He has granted me. I desire to use my degree as an instrument surrendered to the Lord so that His name is multiplied among the nations and generations. I hope to work with individuals across the globe by advocating for the acknowledgment of their humanity and injustices committed against them while also working towards the implementation and continuation of the rule of law in third world countries.

This semester I have the privilege of joining the student staff of Center for Global Justice, which was a determining factor in my decision to attend Regent. I am humbled by the opportunity to be trained and equipped by professors and classmates that model what it looks like to be a peace seeker and a defender of truth. This spring, I am honored to be working on a project for the International Justice Mission through researching the number of human trafficking victims per country in Eastern Europe reported by different international enforcement bodies. This research will help accomplish my team’s goal of supplying research on current legislation and identifying gaps concerning compensation and rehabilitation measures for victims of human trafficking in Eastern Europe.

This semester I am excited to continue discovering how the passions God has placed within me to advocate for the oppressed in society merge with the skills and opportunities presented in the legal field. I am truly grateful to attend a law school that provides students with exposure to the field of human rights law and raises up a generation of attorneys that believe in justice for all people.

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.