Human Trafficking: Causes, Responses, and Current Debates

CSC Course

The seminar will explore a number of overarching themes necessary to understand the complex dimensions of human trafficking, both in the United States and around the world. By the end of the course, students should expect to have a foundational understanding of human trafficking and modern-day slavery, especially related to:

  • Various typologies of slave-like exploitation today, along with forces that promote them;
  • Legal frameworks, policy initiatives and civil society responses to fight modern slavery; and
  • Current debates over effective strategies to combat human trafficking and support survivors.

Students will have an opportunity to engage a range of professionals involved in addressing human trafficking in the Midwest and globally. As part of the course, teams of students will carry out semester-long, community-based research projects.  The three projects undertaken by student teams in the fall 2016 course included: advising an anti-trafficking NGO on measuring the impact of its trafficking awareness program for youth; investigation of the supply chains of Notre Dame-licensed products, with an eye to assessing the risk of forced labor; and curating an exhibition on campus for fellow students to learn about the realities of modern slavery.

This course would be particularly relevant for students who may work with or on behalf of vulnerable populations—e.g., migrants, including refugee camp residents, communities in conflict and post-conflict settings, people emerging from natural disasters, those living in extreme poverty.  


Chris Cervenak

Immersion Dates: This seminar does not have an immersion component.

18 students, limited to undergraduates.
No fee for this seminar
Classes will be held on Thursdays from 5-6:30 p.m.
Application Process: 
  • Please apply online through the CSC application link below.
  • Application process consists of two parts: (1) completed application and (2) a possible interview (you will be notified about interviews via email).

  • You cannot register for the class until you receive registration information from the staff.
  • Notification of placement will happen on a rolling basis.
  • By submitting the application, you confirm you are in good academic standing.



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