ABA President Focuses on Human Trafficking in Fred Herzog Memorial Lecture at The John Marshall Law School

Share Article

More than 100,000 American citizens and an untold number from other countries are modern-day slaves in the United States, according to American Bar Association (ABA) president Laurel Bellows.

More than 100,000 American citizens and an untold number from other countries are modern-day slaves in the United States, according to American Bar Association (ABA) president Laurel Bellows.

Bellows focused on human trafficking as she delivered the Dean Fred Herzog Memorial Lecture on Monday, April 8, 2013, at The John Marshall Law School in Chicago. Monday was Holocaust Remembrance Day and Herzog, who left his native Austria when Hitler seized control there, was a long-time champion of human rights. The Herzog lectures, which began in the late 1970s, have become regular events at the law school and often focus on issues of international human rights.

Bellows’ topic was “Human Trafficking,” but she noted that the term seems too innocuous for the reality; more like methods of moving people around than of holding people against their will and forcing them into sometimes years-long nightmares of unpaid labor and unwanted sex.

The U.S. State Department estimates that 21 million people worldwide--80 percent of them women and children--are modern-day slaves. And Bellows noted during her lecture that the trafficking produces $32 billion in profits each year for its criminal entrepreneurs, making it more lucrative than almost any other illegal activity.

“When you capture a human being, you can use that body infinitely until he or she dies,” Bellows said.

The ABA is spearheading an initiative to combat human trafficking through public awareness, advocacy and education. Bellows said the ABA is training judges, law enforcement officials and attorneys to recognize victims as many enter the criminal justice system as defendants who are unable or afraid to reveal their situations to officials. For many, she said, “This is a silent crime, a silent horror.”

Bellows believes it is possible to break the cycle of human trafficking by galvanizing the general public. Education is an important way of training the average citizens who may come into contact with the victims. Learning questions to ask that may help confirm one’s suspicion that someone is in trouble is one way to uncover the crime. With a bit of knowledge, a call to the Polaris hotline, which takes tips about suspected human trafficking, could help save a life.

About the Fred F. Herzog Memorial Lecture

The Fred F. Herzog Memorial Lecture at The John Marshall Law School in Chicago honors the memory of Fred F. Herzog and his contributions to the development of the law and his outstanding service to legal education. Herzog had earned a law degree from the University of Graz in 1931 and was appointed a federal judge in Austria. But one day after Hitler’s occupation, Herzog was dismissed from the post because he was a Jew. Herzog earned his U.S. law degree at the University of Iowa College of Law. He had been an editor-in-chief for several legal service publications; a member of the Chicago-Kent College of Law faculty and administration for 25 years; first assistant attorney general for the State of Illinois and in 1976, he was named dean of The John Marshall Law School. Herzog died in 2008.

About The John Marshall Law School

The John Marshall Law School, founded in 1899, is an independent law school located in the heart of Chicago’s legal, financial and commercial districts. Through classes, clinics and special programs, students develop the strategic, analytical and transactional lawyering skills that are so valuable to employers. Its excellent curriculum, coupled with outstanding skills and experiential learning, help make John Marshall graduates practice-ready from day one. For practicing attorneys, John Marshall offers nine LLM degrees, more than any other law school in the Midwest. John Marshall is also a leader in providing distance education options in intellectual property, estate planning and employee benefits at the advanced graduate degree level. John Marshall offers six clinical experiences, including the nationally recognized Veterans Legal Support Center & Clinic and the Fair Housing Legal Clinic. U.S. News & World Report’s America’s Best Graduate Schools 2014 edition ranks John Marshall’s Lawyering Skills Program second and its Intellectual Property Law program 12th in the nation.

Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

Marilyn Thomas
The John Marshall Law School
312-427-2737 661
Email >
Visit website