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When Carolina Ramos arrived at the UNM School of Law, she brought along an interest in critical race theory and international human and civil rights, particularly in Mexico, where she has family roots.
Choosing a multi-disciplinary approach to her interests, she is pursuing a dual degree in law and Latin American Studies. This option is one of a number of dual-degree programs offered to UNM law students.
Already, Ramos, a 3L, has been published. Earlier this year, she co-authored an article titled, "Human Trafficking on the U.S.-Mexico Border," which was published in the inaugural issue of Freedom From Fear, a magazine published by the United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute and the Max Planck Institute.
Her co-authors were Susan Tiano, director of UNM's Latin American and Iberian Institute, and Billy James Ulibarri, a UNM doctoral student in sociology.
"We combined elements from papers Billy and I had written," she says. "Susan formed it into the final product, but we all did research and decided the focus and position the article would take."
Ramos' paper compared anti-trafficking policy and legislation approved by the UN, Mexico, the United States and New Mexico.
Through the dual-degree program, Ramos has broadened her knowledge of indigenous, legal and immigration issues in Mexico.
"The combination has given law more context and deepened my understanding about how policy and legislation affect real people," she says. "Whether I pursue policy or academic work after law school, this training will allow me to take a more multi-disciplinary approach to my work."
Ramos is also helping organize an April 1-3 conference titled, "Modern-Day Slavery in the Americas: A Regional Approach to a Global Epidemic." The Albuquerque conference will bring together researchers, policy makers, law enforcement officials and service providers from Mexico and the U.S. to discuss the $10 billion industry of human trafficking.
Conference attendees will discuss a broad range of topics surrounding the issue of human trafficking, particularly along the U.S.-Mexico border, which an estimated 17,000 people are transported across against their will from Mexico into the U.S. every year.
The conference is being sponsored by the University of New Mexico’s Latin American and Iberian Institute, the Mexican Consulate of Albuquerque, the United Nations Crime and Justice Research Institute (UNICRI) and the UNM School of Law.