Human trafficking course provides hands-on learning experience


    Human Trafficking in the U.S.: Public Policy and Political Discourse may only meet once a week, but it provides a different experience than most courses on campus.

    The class meets every Monday from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., fulfilling both a political science and women and gender studies requirement. However, it cannot be taken every semester.

    “The class is an upper division course only offered every third semester, but all students can enroll, and there are no prerequisites,” said Assistant Professor of Political Science Vanessa Bouche, who instructs the class.

    During class time, students must formally debate about issues related to human trafficking such as immigration, globalization, prostitution and consumerism. They do this in order to get a better understanding.

    “I do outside research on human trafficking, and so I took the class because I thought it would be great to further my knowledge,” junior political science major Ethan Murray said.

    The class also contains a blog, where students write and post their reflections about the service-learning trips they are required to attend.

    These trips serve as a learning opportunity to connect students to real-life perspectives on the dynamics of human trafficking.

    Senior economics and political science double major Jamie Nordling said she doesn’t think human trafficking is discussed enough or given enough awareness, especially in Fort Worth.

    According to Do Something, the National Human Trafficking Hotline receives more calls from Texas than any other state in the U.S. and 15 percent of those calls are from the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

    The National Human Trafficking Resource Center shows that Texas has the second highest number of human trafficking cases reported with 452. Texas comes behind California with 912 reported cases.

    “There were definitely a lot of things I did not know about trafficking before I took this class,” Nording said.

    If students do not want to sign up to be a part of the class, there is also a student group called Frogs for Freedom that they can join. More information about this issue and on how to get involved can be found at UNICEF and Thorn.