University of South Carolina Law School & College of Social Work (USC, US originator)
University of Indonesia Graduate Law Program (UI, Indonesian originator)
University of Cologne Faculty of Law (UniKoeln, German originator)
Diponegoro University Faculty of Law (UNDIP)
Gadjah Mada University Graduate Program in Business and Public Law (UGM)
University of Northern Sumatra Graduate Law Program (USU)

Prof. David Linnan (USC, law)
Prof. Robin Wilson (USC, law)
Prof. Arlene Andrews (USC, social work)
Prof. Goutham Menon, (USC, social work)
Prof. Dr. Harkristuti Harkrisnowo (UI, law)
Prof. Dr. Susanne Walther (UniKoeln, law)


The course meets jointly via videoconferencing normally 20:00-22:00 in Indonesia (GMT+7), 14:00-16:00 in Germany (GMT+1) and 08:00-10:00 in South Carolina (GMT-5) every Wednesday and occasional Mondays February-April 2003. In early April there will be slight changes in meeting times due to commencement of daylight savings time in Europe and the United States. Individual course meetings will commence in South Carolina on Wednesday, January 15, 2003. The classes at different universities may meet separately from time to time in the US, Germany and Indonesia as determined by local instructors. Classes will meet at USC for videoconferencing in the USC Law Library Computer Lab Videoconferencing Room (Law Library 223). Classes will meet at UniKoeln in the Kriminalwissenschaftliches Institut (am Lehrstuhl Prof. Dr. Walther). Classes will meet at UGM in the PHBK Videoconferencing Facility, at UI-Salemba in the PPS FHUI Videoconferencing Facility, at USU in the PPS (Bidang Hukum) Videoconferencing Facility in the Gedung Rektorat, and at UNDIP in the Videoconferencing Facility in the Gedung FH-UNDIP.


This course examines the international and domestic problem of human trafficking in a writing seminar taught jointly via videoconferencing with a writing seminar of the University of Cologne Faculty of Law plus graduate law classes at Indonesian universities. Human trafficking has different faces in different countries, typically involving voluntary or involuntary prostitution and, separately, the problems of vulnerable and undocumented workers. Sex trafficking aspects are commonly assumed to predominate in Europe and Asia, often involving juveniles. Meanwhile, human trafficking in the US is more often considered to involve undocumented workers, typically Latino migrant workers who may be included among the growing number of Hispanic agricultural workers in South Carolina or Chinese economic migrants smuggled in by so-called snakeheads (professional people smugglers). The course will be jointly taught and listed with the USC College of Social Work, so that participating students will include some social work students and examine human trafficking as a domestic and international social issue with significant criminal, family, and international law aspects.

So what constitutes human trafficking? We followed the below Interpol definition to prepare this course in three different countries, precisely because people disagree. Under our working definition human trafficking is:

[A]ll acts and attempted acts involved in the recruitment, transportation within or across borders, purchase, sale, transfer, receipt or harboring of a person involving the use of deception, coercion (including the use or threat of force or the abuse of authority) or debt bondage for the purpose of placing or holding such person, whether for pay or not, in involuntary servitude (domestic, sexual or reproductive) in forced or bonded labor, or in slavery-like conditions, in a community other than the one in which such person lived at the time of the original deception, coercion or debt bondage.


There is no printed, off-line text for this course, and we shall post all instructional materials in bilingual English and Bahasa Indonesia form on the course website accessed via the Law & Finance Institutional Partnership or LFIP website (http://www.lfip.org). Teaching faculty should distribute questions via the class LISTSERV in advance of class meetings to focus your attention on the relevant problems in materials for individual classes. You are expected to read all required instructional materials before class with a view to understanding and answering those questions, and are encouraged to read other linked materials identified as further background information. Most of the English language materials can be reached via link on external websites or on the course website, while the Bahasa Indonesia materials will eventually be available in translated form on the course website. There is also a course discussion site (whiteboard in the form of LISTSERV archives), linked through the course page, for discussions to follow up specific questions posed in class or more generally.

There are two other sources for you to consult. First, we shall be making digital recordings of teaching faculty presentations (which we want to put on the website in streaming form for you to consult from time to time, although the streaming version of a class presentation probably will not be completed until 2-3 weeks after any particular class to give us time to prepare it). Second, we shall make available via the website digital recordings of certain speakers or programs which students should watch or listen to outside of class. Some are commercially produced documentaries, while others are interviews or similar materials specially produced for this class. They are intended as the equivalent of brown bag lunch or similar speakers at a law school to provide more information about special questions. You should view these presentations on your own, but feel free to comment upon them via course LISTSERVs.

We shall have a general English language course LISTSERV for all faculty and students (laws-822@listserv.sc.edu) to keep in touch generally, and three special LISTSERVs for students and faculty in the three countries to carry on their internal discussions (in English for USC as lawcolum@listserv.sc.edu, in German for UniKoeln as lawcolog@listserv.sc.edu, and in Bahasa Indonesia for the Indonesian universities as lawindon@listserv.sc.edu). There is a further explanation on the course website under the LISTSERVs & Admin link concerning how to join and use these different LISTSERVs and the LISTSERV archives as whiteboard. You must join your two LISTSERVs to participate fully in this class, since the teaching faculty will use it like a bulletin board for announcements about reading assignments, etc. while students and faculty should use it to ask questions and carry on discussions outside our videoconferenced classes. For those of you unfamiliar with the LISTSERV concept, a LISTSERV is simply a system in which e-mail communications are sent to a single address and then distributed to all LISTSERV subscribers, while the archive is simply a site where you can see e-mails to the archive posted to a webpage one after another. Please consult the LISTSERV information page at http://listserv.sc.edu, and note that you can access the various LISTSERV archives from there. We shall ask teaching faculty to distribute via the LISTSERV their classroom powerpoint presentations as notes after class. We may also distribute other photocopied materials for class from time to time.

This course is part of a broader experiment to institutionalize shared and distance education courses between universities and across borders, so comments on the experiment are welcome as things develop. The primary contacts for comments at the different universities will be Prof. David Linnan at USC for law students (linnan@law.law.sc.edu) and Prof Goutham Menon at USC for social work students (goutham.menon@sc.edu), Prof. Dr. Harkristuti Harkrisnowo (harkristuti_harkrisnowo@yahoo.com) or Prof. Dr. Erman Rajagukguk (as Ketua PPS UI) at UI, Prof. Dr. Susanne Walther at UniKoeln (susanne.c.walther@uni-koeln.de), Bpk. Darminto Hartono at UNDIP (darminh@cbn.net.id), Drs. Paripurna Sugarda (parip@indo.net.id) at UGM and Dr. Bismar Nasution (bismarus@yahoo.com) at USU. These persons are also the primary contacts for any administrative questions at the participating universities.


Human trafficking is a very complex problem that looks different to involved groups in various countries. It attracts a considerable amount of advocacy, and it is not always clear whether concerned advocates give voice to facts or articulate broader agendas. Human trafficking also has a recognizable history reaching back at least 150 years and complex links in American society to important social questions like the anti-slavery and nativism issues in 19th century America, followed by more modern issues in the area of immigration, organized crime and the sex industry. Is human trafficking just about the commercial sex industry, or is it about sweatshop labor and illegal aliens? Views even diverge significantly within advocacy groups, such as among feminists. For some feminists, trafficked women and children represent a truly oppressed group subject to the scourge of forced prostitution. Meanwhile, others view working in the sex industry as a voluntary economic choice merely facilitated by the human smuggling industry. Anti-trafficking legislation truly makes for strange bedfellows, as witnessed by the informal legislative history (see http://www.protectionproject.org/vt/sta1.htm) of the US Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act of 2000 (see http://usinfo.state.gov/topical/global/traffic/tvpa.pdf), meanwhile you might give some thought to the legal question why special federal legislation is even necessary given that prostitution and procurement typically are criminalized under state law? Given the long history and ties to important social questions, is human trafficking primarily a (criminal) legal issue and where does the appropriate response lie?

The voluntary or economic choice issue runs throughout trafficking questions, since on the labor side there is an incongruity behind all the well-publicized deaths and mistreatment of economic migrants trying to enter the US (Mexican coyotes leaving illegal immigrants to die in the deserts of the American Southwest, and recurrent stories involving Chinese snakeheads sending illegal immigrants into the US in shipping containers where they expire due to lack of air or heat exhaustion). Meanwhile, there seems to be a continuing supply of economic migrants willing to pay $1,000-$7,000 to the coyotes (see http://www.azstarnet.com/borderline/right.htm) and $30,000-$50,000 to the snakeheads (see http://usinfo.state.gov/regional/ea/chinaaliens/smuggling3.htm) for their smuggling services. Why are these people paying large amounts of money for what sounds like a deadly chance? If you take away the prostitution connection, do sweatshop conditions equate to a contemporary form of slavery or the bona fide economic opportunity for which economic migrants gladly pay people smugglers? Thereafter, how do you draw the line between economic opportunity and criminal human trafficking for people like the undocumented workers who increasingly staff certain industries (most notably agriculture in South Carolina)? Putting aside the question of immigration law violations, there are many voices saying these industries are hardly viable in economic terms without the undocumented workers.

We have been talking thus far about human trafficking in US terms, but human trafficking is an international phenomenon. You should try to understand human trafficking issues also through the eyes of our German and Indonesian colleagues. Human trafficking can be driven by sharp economic differences within a country, as in Indonesia where a large part of the trafficking picture runs from rural villages to urban areas. Meanwhile, in Germany, it tends to run East to West and seemingly is driven by differing economic levels in the former Eastern Block and Western Europe. Beyond the sex industry, you face similar questions on voluntary or economic choice issues as in the US. The German equivalent of the undocumented Hispanic workers present on many US construction sites are typically undocumented Polish or Eastern European workers on German construction sites who get their jobs through friends or agents. They may be subject to criticism as illegal laborers without a work permit, but they are not typically viewed as working under slavery-like conditions (and the argument is that they keep construction costs down in an otherwise inflexible labor market). So where do different societies draw the line on what constitutes human trafficking? What kind of social pressures, organization and educational levels contribute to the human trafficking problem?

The course will be organized as follows. The first three weeks we shall study alone in the US, then the Indonesian and German universities join us at the beginning of February. US faculty will teach all classes through February 19 covering general legal and social science points applicable to human trafficking in the US, then Indonesian faculty will teach for four weeks covering a general national study and criticism of human trafficking in Indonesia, a detailed empirical test study of trafficking between villages in a certain rural area and major urban areas plus child prostitution and trafficking, then German faculty will take over for four weeks to do European views (on all Wednesdays). Student projects will be assigned for presentation in the second half of the course (on occasional Mondays).

The response of our course is to emphasize legal issues, but also to recognize that those who have looked most closely at human trafficking conclude that legal strategies to address human trafficking are only a limited success. Thus, the course is taught predominantly by lawyers, but social scientists (social work and psychology) will teach roughly 25% of the course. USC students will be split between School of Law and College of Social Work students, and we expect you to work together and with the foreign students on group projects. By course's end, you should understand the basic social issues and legal framework applicable in this broad area.



Grading will be organized locally at each participating university. For US law students the primary contributor to your grade will be your paper in satisfaction of graduate writing requirements (80%). The balance of your grade will be determined by participation in class/on-line and in a joint project to be organized between groups of students in different substantive areas and countries. Professor Menon will evaluate US social work students on a basis to be explained directly by him. Indonesian and German faculty at participating universities will decide how to evaluate students for academic credit or the award of course certificates. There will be no final examination at USC.

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