Congratulations IPED Class of 2017!
We’re looking forward to hear of your future successes. We’ll miss you! Good luck!
Margaret “Maggie” Hutchison (IPED ‘18) is an intern with The Permanent Observer Mission of the Holy See to the United Nations at the United Nations headquarters in New York City. The Holy See is the political entity of the Vatican and is an “Observer State” to the United Nations, which means they do not have voting privileges, but they can still make interventions and participate in debates.
Maggie’s work as an intern involves covering issues of migration and other topics that the Nuncio and Monsignors find important to the Mission. In these meetings she is engaged in taking detailed notes that are later compiled into a report that is eventually sent to Rome for the Vatican Holy See officials read.
Maggie spoke about the advantages of working the Holy See at the UN: “During my time as an intern, I have been able to take advantage of many UN opportunities such as evening events and language classes. These activities have improved my learning outside of the classroom and I am grateful for the experience.“
Maggie was introduced to this internship through Dr. Schwalbenberg, Director or the IPED Program, as part of her fellowship to the program, however she mentioned that her fellow interns at the Mission found the internship through reaching out, making connections with someone in the Mission and passing along their resume. She says, “It is wonderful UN experience and allows you to understand the system better and to make strong connections.”
Maggie is a full time student in the IPED program while she carries out her internship duties at the Holy See Mission.
Luther Flagstad (IPED ‘18) is the U.S. Foreign Policy Volunteer Intern at the Council on Foreign Relations and in the David Rockefeller Studies Program—CFR’s “think tank”–under Ambassador Robert D. Blackwill, the Henry A. Kissinger Senior Fellow for U.S. Foreign Policy. The CFR is an independent, nonpartisan membership organization, think tank, and publisher. The U.S. Foreign Policy program at the CFR seeks to understand the challenges and opportunities the United States faces overseas and to assess the pressures and political dynamics shaping its foreign policy choices. The program’s goal is to provide insightful analysis and recommendations that help policymakers, business leaders, journalists, and the general public better understand how the United States weighs its interests and values when it makes foreign policy decisions.
As an intern, Luther works closely with Ambassador Blackwill’s Research Assistant, Ted Rappleye, researching current U.S. foreign policy issues. The CFR provides interns with expansive opportunities for professional development. Luther writes: “At CFR I’ve been able to listen in on “not-for-attribution” meetings delivered by policy makers from around the world, attend sessions on writing and research skills, practice writing policy memos, and learn and absorb as much as I can from fellows, researchers, and other interns.” Luther was involved in the research for a piece published by Ambassador Blackwill in Foreign Policy titled, “Fact Checking Trump’s ‘Alternative Facts’ About Mexico”.
Luther obtained his position, initially, by attending the CFR’s back-to-school event where he created a network with the other research assistants. He was able to draw on these connections when positions when he submitted his applications.
Luther had this advice to offer: “If you are interested in a career in policy, I couldn’t recommend an internship with CFR enough. The exposure it provides to the field is outstanding.”
Luther maintains his status as a full-time students while performing his internship duties part-time.
On March 23rd, many members of the IPED family got together to meet, catch up, and chat for the IPED Alumni night. IPED alumni were asked to speak about their experiences working in the non-profit, government, and private sectors and gave advice for current and recent IPEDers starting their careers. Following the alumnae panel, current students were presented with their study and internship awards. Congratulations to all of you!
On February 23, 2017, the US branch of the Vatican Foundation Centesimus Annus Pro Pontifice and Fordham University co-sponsored the inaugural lecture of the Cassamarca Foundation Chair in Migration and Globalization, titled: “The Holy See and the Fight Against Human Trafficking.” The conference examined the realities of human trafficking today, what is being done, and what opportunities there are going forward.
The Gendered Nature of Human Trafficking
Fordham’s “Consultation on Human Trafficking” convened local and international experts to discuss the root causes and challenges of modern slavery. And while the panelists discussed different push factors – poverty, conflict, and forced migration – many highlighted the overarching role that gender plays in the human trafficking system.
“79% of people who are trafficked are women,” said Archbishop Bernardito Auza, the Inaugural Holder of the Casamarca Foundation Chair in Migration and Globalization, and the conference’s keynote speaker. “And while that percentage is decreasing, the number of women who are being trafficked in real terms is increasing.”
So why are women so vulnerable to human trafficking?
“Human Trafficking takes advantage of global indifference and an economy of exclusion” said the Archbishop. Women still constitute 70% of the world’s poor, and have unequal access to labor markets and economic resources. Human traffickers prey on women and girls who have fewer routes to economic independence, and who are willing to leave their homes to pursue financial opportunities. Convinced that there is a job waiting for them abroad, women find themselves trapped in sexual exploitation or domestic slavery.
Human trafficking also affects young women in the United States, particularly the homeless and those formerly in the foster system.
Jayne Bigelsen, Director of Anti-Human Trafficking Initiatives at Covenant House in New York, estimated that 15-25% of her clients have been trafficked. Most of them are young women with few mentors or family connections, and are trafficked by pimps who act as their boyfriend. The pimp provides emotional, financial, and housing stability, and then forces the woman into human trafficking.
“At first, many of our clients will say that they chose that life freely. But six months after they’ve gotten away from their pimps, they will say they didn’t really have a choice, that they had to do it if they wanted a place to sleep.”
Panelists also discussed human trafficking as a secondary trauma: “Many of the girls who are trafficked have been sexually abused at home.” said one panelist. “… We see that incest shatters the soul, and makes girls feel an incredible amount of shame. If I feel that I am worthless, what would keep me from making these decisions (to follow pimps)?”
Given the gendered nature of human trafficking, panelists called for solutions that take women’s unique vulnerability into account. Solutions included training law enforcement officers to recognize when women were being trafficked, and better coordination across government and NGO agencies. Ms. Bigelson said the best way to combat human trafficking was to be a good mentor and a good foster parent to young women.
Written by: Sydney Kornegay
Sydney is a first-year student in Fordham University’s Graduate Program in International Political Economy & Development.