Santa Clara Law Center Receives Grant to Combat Human Trafficking

SBCEHTA Santa Clara University legal center has been awarded a $300,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Justice to help victims of human trafficking in the South Bay. The illegal exploitation of immigrant women, children, and men for coerced sex and labor persists as a form of modern slavery. This money will be used to enhance the legal and social services available to victims of this crime.

The grant goes to the Katharine and George Alexander Community Law Center (KGACLC) at the Santa Clara University School of Law. (The office of the KGACLC is located near the university on The Alameda in San Jose.) The center, which performs pro bono legal services primarily for poor minorities and immigrants, is a member of the South Bay Coalition to End Human Trafficking. The coalition includes 34 agencies and organizations and provides services such as hotlines, housing, legal advocacy, children’s programs, and community outreach.

Reading this story made me think of the plight of Native Americans at the California missions two hundred years ago. Their experience was complex but at its worst there are notable parallels with modern human trafficking. The Native Americans were separated from their families and communities, forced to live and work at the missions, and were abused physically, psychologically, and spiritually by the Spanish. It’s fitting then that Santa Clara University, home of Mission Santa Clara de Asís off El Camino Real, is involved in the effort against trafficking today. It’s too late for the victims of the past, but the mission’s geographical descendants are doing good and laudable work for the victims of the present.

[Source: San Jose Mercury News]

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