NYATN steering member Juhu Thukral was on a segment on Let Your Voice Be Heard! Radio on February 9th, “Modern-Day Slavery? Sex, Trafficking and Immigration.” Undocumented immigrants are highly vulnerable to becoming trafficked due to a lack of legal status and protections, limited language skills and employment options and poverty. As a result, they often become dependent on traffickers for employment or support while living in a foreign country. Listen here….
Update: This event will be livestreamed.
NYATN member Sienna Baskin will be speaking on a panel, “Clearing the Slate: Seeking Effective Remedies for Criminalized Trafficking Victims,” at CUNY Law School on February 27
Women trafficked into the sex industry are particularly vulnerable to abuse and face the added threat of criminal prosecution for acts they were forced to commit. Resulting criminal convictions can continue to haunt trafficking survivors, preventing them from rebuilding their lives. A novel New York law passed in 2010 helps remedy this harm by allowing survivors to vacate these convictions.
CUNY Law School’s new report Clearing the Slate: Seeking Effective Remedies for Criminalized Trafficking Victims, from the International Women’s Human Rights Clinic, looks at the problem of criminalization of trafficking victims and New York’s experience with the vacatur law in order to identify best practices for New York and other states.
This event will examine the factors that lead to criminalization of trafficking victims, identify the successes and challenges of implementing the law, and discuss other reforms to help trafficking survivors.
New York State Assembly Member Richard Gottfried, sponsor of the vacatur law, will give introductory remarks.
- The Honorable Toko Serita (’89), presiding judge, Queens County Human Trafficking Intervention Court
- Sienna Baskin (’07), co-director of the Sex Workers Project of the Urban Justice Center
- Kate Mogulescu, supervising attorney at the Trafficking Victims Advocacy Project at the Legal Aid Society
- John Temple, attorney-in-charge at the Human Trafficking Program at the New York County District Attorney’s Office
Fordham Law School’s Law Students Against Trafficking will have a Labor Trafficking Panel on Tuesday, January 28, 2014 at 12:30 pm to provide “an informative look into labor trafficking – the slavery that produces the goods and provides the services we use.” Speakers will include:
- Leah Obias, Damayan Migrant Workers Association
- Ivy O. Suriyopas, Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund
- Suzanne Tomatore, Immigrant Women & Children Project at the City Bar Justice Center
NY Anti-Trafficking Network has written in commemoration of National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month for the fourth consecutive year.
- More Penalties for Prostitution Won’t Help Victims of Human Trafficking – By Ivy O. Suriyopas
- Five Things You Can Do to Fight Trafficking and Modern Slavery – By Juhu Thukral
Previous Race-Talk contributions include:
NYATN members Avaloy Lanning and Dana Sussman at Safe Horizon’s Anti-Trafficking Program joined Martina Vandenberg on CNN’s ac360 on a segment called, “Uproar Surrounds Indian Diplomat’s Arrest.” They describe how the case, United States v. Khobragade, is more than merely a labor dispute. This case is one of many cases involving allegations of domestic worker complaints against their diplomat and consular employers. See also the U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara’s statement about the case, United States v. Khobragade.
Updates: Safe Horizon’s Dana Sussman also appeared on Good Morning America this morning on a segment called, “India Demands that U.S. Drop Case Against Diplomat.” She stated in part that the domestic worker “worked more or less around the clock.” See more.
The New York Times did a piece, “Fury in India over Diplomat’s Arrest in New York,” and quoted Sussman as saying, “My client is frustrated with how the media has portrayed this story and the response from the Indian government.” Read more.
She interviewed with CBS News in a piece, “Kerry Expresses Regret over Strip Search of Arrested Indian Diplomat.” Sussman says: “The victim in this case is not a criminal defendant but the person who was denied her wages and underpaid for her work.” Read more. And Sussman also appeared on CBS This Morning on December 20th in a segment called, “Protests in India Grow over U.S. Treatment of Diplomat,” saying that the domestic worker “left with essentially the clothes on her back.” See more.
Sussman told the AP, as reported in the Washington Post piece, “Worker Abuse by Diplomats a Problem, Advocates Say,” of the prevalence of exploitation and abuse of domestic workers by diplomats. She says, “We’ve seen it across the board, we’ve seen with country missions to the U.N., we’ve seen it with consular officials, diplomats of all levels.” Read more.
Sussman, Vandenberg, and Ivy Suriyopas reported on the frequency of exploitation of domestic workers in diplomat and consular households in the New York Times‘s piece, “Claim Against Indian Diplomat Has Echoes of Previous Cases.” Vandenberg says, ““These cases are the tip of the iceberg.” Read more.
NYATN signed on, with 23 anti-trafficking organizations including the Freedom Network (USA), to member Sex Workers Project’s letter opposing MSNBC’s program, Slave Hunter: Freeing Victims of Human Trafficking. It states, in part: “While we respect your efforts to tackle a difficult and necessary subject, the tactics of Mr. Cohen and ‘Abolish Slavery’ mislead the public and threaten the rights and safety of sex workers and survivors of human trafficking.” Read more….
NYATN member City Bar Justice Center’s Immigrant Women & Children Project (IWC) released a special report, “Spotlight on 150 Human Trafficking Cases.” This report reflects over a decade of direct representation of low-income immigrant survivors of human trafficking in the New York City metropolitan area and informs the Justice Center’s advocacy and policy recommendations. The report states, in part, “Of the 150 human trafficking cases, 54.6% involved labor trafficking and 45.3% involved sex trafficking. Domestic work was by far the most frequently reported form of labor trafficking, representing nearly 80% of the labor trafficking cases.” Read more….