Greetings from Beijing!

Sorry for the delay in my posting. Since my last post I have been quite distracted with the many interesting projects that Zhicheng is engaged in.

I am probably most proud of a side project that I became involved with last week. That project addresses human trafficking into China from adjacent countries. I focused my research on the country of Myanmar, which is a major source of trafficked women and girls. These individuals end up in Myanmar as wives and domestic laborers, filling a huge gender gap that exists in China due to the one child policy.

Interestingly, the law in Myanmar is well drafted with regards to human trafficking. Since 2005 when the Myanmar government passed the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Law, human trafficking has been a statutorily defined crime. This law further provides Myanmar support for the support and repatriation of human trafficking victims from countries such as China. As evidence of the law’s quality, consider that it includes all the major provisions of the Palermo Protocol.

To be honest, I was a bit shocked that such a well-written law could be enforced so poorly. Of course, the rule of law requires not only a comprehensive body of law, but also a government that invests its resources in the enforcement of those laws. This is the issue in Myanmar, which fails to adequately fund efforts to investigate and prevent human trafficking within its borders. Additional bureaucratic issues--both the Ministry of Home Affairs and Myanmar Police Force investigate human trafficking issues--prevent effective enforcement of the law.

My research on this topic will be used by Zhicheng to create a website for individuals who have been trafficked into China. This website will be translated into a number of different foreign languages thanks to the expertise of students at Beijing Language and Culture University. I hope that in the future my research will provide useful for someone facing issues related to human trafficking in China.

Outside of my work with Zhicheng, I have continued to explore Beijing in my freetime. Last weekend I went to the Great Wall of China, which was, for lack of a better adjective, really great. The weather was good and the sky was so clear I could see far off into the distance.

I also spent some time eating Chinese snacks with my friend Ivy, who is an alumni of William & Mary Law. Side note, there are so many law alumni in Beijing. In addition to Ivy, we have another student working in the Central Business District at the World Trade Organization. Although not an alumni, Professor Malone is also working in Beijing this summer. It is so great to know that our school has such a strong international presence.