8.06.2012

Legal Intern Impacts Advances in Trafficking Awareness in Japan

Third-year Regent University law student Rebekah Kaylor grew up in Japan as the daughter of missionaries. But, when she started her degree at Regent Law, she never dreamed her studies would take her back to the country she'd grown to love.

Sponsored by the Center for Global Justice, Human Rights & the Rule of Law, Kaylor is one of a group of 22 interns working on issues of human trafficking and justice both in the United States and abroad.

Kaylor's summer internship was with Operation Blessing International (OBI) in Japan. Her task: researching ways the non-profit organization can help fight violence against women, including sex trafficking and domestic violence in Japan.

"Even though Japan is one of the largest destination countries in Asia for trafficking victims, awareness of trafficking is very low," Kaylor explained. "Many times, there is either an outright denial of its existence or a complete misunderstanding of what it is."

One of the major reasons Kaylor decided to go to law school was because she wanted to fight violence against women. When the opportunity to complete an internship under the umbrella of the Center for Global Justice arose, she knew the right doors were opening.

"I was overwhelmed that God opened the doors for me to be able to go to Japan, a country I love, and work as an intern in the field I am passionate about," she said.

Kaylor knows that her first two years at Regent Law prepared her for this internship.

"In law school you are taught to identify the rule and then to analyze by applying the facts to the rule to come to a conclusion," Kaylor said. "I would go into an interview with the definition of trafficking and, as I talked with the interviewee and elicited facts, I realized as I applied the facts to the rule that, even though the interviewee was insisting that they had not worked with trafficking victims, they actually had. I was able to use this to demonstrate that problems such as human trafficking are a lot more widespread then statistics show."

As she enters her final year of law school, Kaylor has a new perspective on her future as an attorney and advocate for women's rights.

"The greatest way my career plans have been impacted is simply understanding that God is the One who opens the door," she said. "Yes, it is our responsibility to knock on doors, send out applications, network, etc. Ultimately, though, God is the One who opens the right door at the right time, and we need to have a responsive heart in order to walk through."

Read more about the summer adventures of the Center for Global Justice interns.

By Rachel Judy