Human Trafficking: Causes, Responses and Current Debates

Social Concerns Seminar

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 under consideration for this fall’s seminar include: 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 a film/video series 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.

16 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 seminars 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 seminar until you receive registration information from the Seminars staff.
  • Notification of seminar placement will happen on a rolling basis.
  • If you are not selected for participation in your first choice of seminars, you will be given the opportunity to participate in another seminar if there is still availability in the fall. Contact Melissa Marley Bonnichsen if you have questions.
  • By submitting the application, you confirm you are in good academic standing.

With questions about your application, email

Application for Fall 2016 is now closed.


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