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Pepperdine Hosts Gary Haugen’s Teachings on the International Justice Mission

The Pepperdine School of Law welcomed guest lecturer Gary Haugen for a second time March 31-April 6. The president and CEO of International Justice Mission (IJM), a human rights agency, taught "Human Rights and the Rule of Law in the Developing World."

The course was an in-depth exploration into the enforcement of human rights with a particular emphasis on working with local government agencies and communities to provide effective access to justice.

"How does the movement serve the poorest in the world?," Haugen asked students at the School of Law, noting that there are approximately one billion people living on just $1 a day. Haugen also stated that the top form of violence threatening poverty stricken populations is gender and sexual violence, which he says account for more illnesses and deaths than cancer, malaria, and auto accidents. Referencing specific cases handled by IJM, Haugen discussed an increase in sex trafficking, labor abuse, police abuse, and unjust land seizures. He also discussed an increase in illegal detentions, noting that between 60 and 80 percent of inmates in many third-world regions have never been convicted or charged with a crime.

Haugen's course at Pepperdine builds on the relationship forged between IJM and the School of Law, which resulted in Pepperdine becoming the first law school in the country to establish a student chapter of IJM.

"We are deeply honored to have had Gary Haugen return to Pepperdine to teach Human Rights and the Rule of Law in the Developing World," said Jay Milbrandt, director of Pepperdine's Global Justice Program. "As the founder and CEO of International Justice Mission, Professor Haugen is one of the leading practitioners on the development of justice systems that break the cycle of poverty in our world. His presence at Pepperdine is not only a unique learning opportunity for our students, but demonstrates the strength of Pepperdine's commitment to Global Justice."

Haugen's extensive experience in the fields of human rights and rule of law dates back to his work at the U.S. Department of Justice and the United Nations, during which time he investigated the 1994 Rwandan genocide. He founded IJM in 1997 as a nonprofit agency to rescue victims of violence, sexual exploitation, slavery, and oppression worldwide.

IJM now has field offices across the world from Guatemala, to Kenya, to India. IJM lawyers, investigators, and aftercare professionals work with local officials to ensure immediate victim rescue and aftercare, to prosecute perpetrators, and to promote functioning public justice systems.

In 2011, Haugen taught the same course at the School of Law, and in 2009, he visited the Malibu campus to present the commencement speech at the law school graduation, urging the graduates to enjoy life saying, "For where you find true joy, you will also find your purpose."