Lesson Plans for Secondary Educators

Hillary Clinton, Remarks on the Release of the 10th Annual Trafficking in Persons Report, 14 June 2010

High School Lesson Plan created for Voices of Democracy by Nicole Kennerly, Independent Editor.

Click here for the VOD unit corresponding to this lesson plan.

Value for Teachers

  1. This speech reframed human trafficking as a global human rights problem stemming from systemic injustices, and not merely a problem of border enforcement.
  2. In the speech Clinton positioned the United States as the moral authority in monitoring and enforcing sanctions for global human trafficking, while at the same time reiterating the importance of international cooperation and partnerships.
  3. This speech showcased Clinton’s point of view not only as a feminist, but as an expert in foreign policy with the experience and credibility of the U.S. Secretary of State.

Relevant Common Core State Standards for English/Language Arts

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.9-10.2 Determine a central idea of a text and analyze its development over the course of the text, including how it emerges and is shaped and refined by specific details; provide an objective summary of the text.

  • The speech positioned human trafficking as a human rights issue and a complex social problem arising from poverty, globalization, technological growth, and misogyny. The speech also urged shared responsibility between governments, businesses, corporations, and even local communities.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.9-10.6 Determine an author’s point of view or purpose in a text and analyze how an author uses rhetoric to advance that point of view or purpose.

  • In her speech, Clinton placed the United States in the role of international anti-trafficking watchdog, while at the same time employing a rhetoric of collaboration and global partnership. She did this for three reasons: 1) to emphasize to countries interested in partnering with the U.S. that they must defer to U.S. authority, 2) to solidify Clinton’s place as an strong leader in global and U.S. politics, and 3) to emphasize the important role of global partnerships.

Ideas for Pre-Reading

  • Students will benefit from understanding the broad scope of human trafficking. Have them access theS. Department of Health and Human Services’ “Look Beneath the Surface” campaign (https://www.acf.hhs.gov/otip/partnerships/look-beneath-the-surface) to help citizens and service providers identify people who might be victims of trafficking at:. Students can generate a list of words associated with human trafficking, specifically focusing on which populations are most directly affected and the reasons for trafficking.
  • Have students visit http://slaveryfootporg/ and take the slavery footprint survey prior to class. Students can discuss in small groups and share their reactions with the class. Have them reflect on ways in which consumer practices in wealthy nations contribute to the exploitation and fostering of human trafficking. Brainstorm strategies for more conscious consumerism.
  • Have students consider the point of view of the persons being trafficked. Law enforcement professionals who work with young victims of sex trafficking in the United States explain how they often don’t see themselves as victims. Why might this be? To guide the discussion, introduce the term “compelled service” and list other reasons for trafficking other than sex, such as forced labor, bonded labor, child labor, involuntary domestic servitude, debts among migrant laborers, and child soldiers.
  • The International Justice Mission (ILM) claims that a justice system breaks down when it lacks resources, training, accountability, or hope. Have students consider these factors and how they impact vulnerable groups. See the IJM website here: https://www.ijm.org/how-we-work.

Important Vocabulary/Figures

  • The State Department [para 2]: At the time of the speech, Hillary Clinton was Secretary of State under the Obama Administration. The “State Department” refers to the U.S. Department of State, a federal department that handles foreign policy issues.
  • Trafficking in Persons Report (TIP) [para 5]: This annual report is issued by the U.S. State Department. It evaluates governments’ perceived efforts to raise awareness and combat human trafficking by rating them on a three tier scale.
  • Faith community [para 7]: By “faith community,” Clinton means organized religious groups, including churches and religious-based organizations that have a history of working for the abolition of slavery dating back to the time of the international slave trade and the U.S. Civil War.
  • NGO [para 9]: NGO is short for Non-Governmental Organization, a “not-for-profit organization that is independent from states and international governmental organizations” (Wikipedia). Most NGOs are funded by donations and rely upon volunteers.

Suggested Timeline/Objectives

Day 1: Pre-reading & Introduction of Important Vocabulary/Figures

  • Students will complete pre-readings of teacher’s or student’s choice.
  • Teacher will introduce key terms of the speech.
  • Students will read the speech. Students will assess how Clinton reframed human trafficking as a global human rights issue and not solely a problem of border enforcement and law.

Day 2: U.S. as a Watchdog of Human Trafficking Violations

  • Students will analyze how Clinton places the responsibility for the evaluation and consequences for human trafficking on the United States.
  • Students will complete post-readings chosen by the teacher.

Key During Reading Passages and Discussion Questions

  • Paragraphs 1-4: Discuss with students the opening of Clinton’s speech. Who did Clinton see as the audience for her speech? How would you describe the tone set at the start of the speech?
  • Paragraphs 5-7: The Trafficking in Persons Report (TIP) is introduced. What did Clinton say were the goals of the report? What sorts of information does she say the report provides? Who does she say the report is intended to benefit? What does she hope the report will accomplish?
  • Paragraphs 8-11: Clinton introduced the idea of shared responsibility. What did she mean by this? How did the U.S. factor into the idea of shared responsibility for human trafficking? What were the goals that Clinton summarized as “the three P’s?”   What was the “fourth P” she added, and why does she say that “P” is so important?
  • Paragraphs 12-13: Here Clinton began to discuss more thoroughly and explicitly how some nations have responded to the report. How did she characterize those responses, and how did she seek to separate the TIP report from other issues in international politics?
  • Paragraphs 14-16: How did Clinton close the speech? Why do you think she concluded by mentioning some “heroes” of the fight against human trafficking? What sort of tone—pessimistic or optimistic—do you think she set at the end of the speech?

Post-Reading and Assessment

  • Connect the human trafficking issue to the students’ local community. Have them research human trafficking cases and statistics for their own state. What is the most common form of trafficking in their state? In what region(s) of the state is trafficking most prevalent? What percentage of trafficking victims are male? Female? What percentage of trafficked people are under the age of 18? Do the laws in your state follow anti-trafficking best practices? How might they be improved?
  • Students can explore the advantages and disadvantages of the neo-abolitionist versus the human rights framework for understanding human trafficking (see the essay by Karrin Vasby Anderson on VOD). Divide students into groups of four or five and assign them a position. Have them make a poster that presents their side to the class.
  • Who should have the authority to rate nations for their compliance with anti-trafficking laws and enforcement procedures: an international body such as the United Nations, or a single nation such as the United States? What are the advantages and drawbacks of each option?