Federalist Society’s Seminar on Human Trafficking

October 20, 2015

The Federalist Society held a seminar on human trafficking at BYU Law with Joseph Schmitz, former Inspector General of the Department of Defense, and Todd Palmer, FBI special agent. 

Palmer opened the event with a story of his experience working as an FBI special agent locating trafficking victims. "We are involved with individuals born in the United States who find themselves in untenable positions they are not able to leave.” 
"What happens when these people are rescued?" Palmer asked,  and went on to explain that there are not many recovery programs for these victims. "The FBI isn’t a victim service institution and that is the biggest hurdle for the FBI," he said. Palmer explained that while the FBI can do everything in its power to convict institutions of human trafficking, the victims are often left with no program to help them recover.
Schmitz then spoke about his experience with human trafficking when he was Inspector General of the Department of Defense. "The biggest takeaway for you today is to take notice that i
f anyone ever refers to another person as other than a human, be aware. That is a slippery slope of moral relativism." he said. Schmitz went on to explain that we, as Americans, cannot turn a blind eye to human slavery. He then went on to explain that his primary role at the DoD was not to prosecute but to shed light and show the facts of human trafficking to promote awareness.
Schmitz shared a quote by Thomas Mann, "Tolerance becomes a crime when applied to evil." He told students to train their legal minds not to focus on the public’s perception of victims of human trafficking but to look at the facts and the individual.