The New York Times published NYATN member Sex Workers Project’s Letter to the Editor in response to the article, “With Special Courts, State Aims to Steer Women Away From Sex Trade.” Robin Richardson writes in part: “Not all those arrested for prostitution are victims of human trafficking. Individuals brought into these courts who do sex work by choice or because of difficult life circumstances, and people falsely profiled as sex workers because of their race, gender identity or arrest history, also deserve help and a zealous defense.” Read more….
The Village Voice quoted NYATN’s memorandum on Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Women’s Equality Act (WEA) bill in its piece, “New Yorkers Still Want the Women’s Equality Act. But Will It Hurt Sex Workers?“ The piece posed the following questions:
“But now there’s a new concern from sex workers and their advocates: in trying to prevent human trafficking, would the WEA really just hurt prostitutes? And is the anti-trafficking provision why Assembly Republicans are suddenly so enthusiastic about the bill?”
NYATN steering member Juhu Thukral’s RH Reality Check piece, “Steps Forward – and Setbacks – for Sex Workers’ Rights,” examines New York Governor Cuomo’s Women’s Equality Act bill and the Supreme Court ruling on the anti-prostitution pledge that applied to global funding to combat HIV and AIDS. She writes, in part: “As long as we do not examine our sexual attitudes and the policies that stem from a misunderstanding of our rights around sexual behavior and how to protect them, policymakers will continue to confuse sex work with trafficking and implement harmful policies on HIV without consequence for themselves.” Read more….
NYATN member Sienna Baskin, co-director of the Sex Workers Project at the Urban Justice Center, responds in the U.S. News & World Report‘s piece, “Some Child Sex Trafficking Victims ‘Rescued’ by Recent FBI Sting Could End Up in Jail,” about Operation Cross Country, in which 105 young people in the sex trade were identified after a multi-city law enforcement action. She says: “It seems like they’re treating the arrest of minors as an acceptable collateral consequence of this operation. But arrest is a very traumatic experience that can lead to abuses for both adults and minors.” Read more….
NYATN member Sienna Baskin is quoted in Pix 11′s story, “19 Arrested in Prostitution Sweep of Brooklyn Massage Parlors.” In the article, Baskin says:
“Sienna Baskin, Co-Director of the Sex Workers Project at the Urban Justice Center, said Thursday, ‘Arresting sex workers does nothing to increase their opportunities and safety. The city should focus on outreach and services to sex workers, instead of arresting them.’” Read more….
NYATN member Florrie Burke’s op-ed, “Forced Into Prostitution — and Denied a Lifeline,” about S1379/A2736, the No Condoms As Evidence bill, appeared in today’s Huffington Post. She says, in part, “This bill should prohibit prosecutors from using possession of condoms as evidence to support prostitution-related charges, including trafficking.” She adds, “In reality, a condom may be the one protection a victim of trafficking has from a trafficker’s assault on her or his human rights, autonomy, and body.” Read more.
NYATN member Sienna Baskin, Esq., co-director of the Sex Workers Project at the Urban Justice Center, will speak about “Sex Work and Human Trafficking: The Difference and Why It Matters” on Thursday, February 7th at Fordham Law School.
Update: See a photo from the event.
NYATN members represent human trafficking survivors, facilitating reunification, while feds arraign perpetrators
NYATN members represent some of the survivors of another human trafficking case that originated from Tenancingo, Mexico. The perpetrators, extradited to Brooklyn to face federal charges, are “members of familial clans in Tenancingo that prey on girls in their early teens with false promises of romance and a better life in the U.S. only to enslave them in the world’s oldest profession.” The defendant perpetrators “recruited three victims in Mexico when they were just 14 and 15 years old.”
NYATN helped facilitate the reunification of a survivor and her child, in a stirring chapter of the federal criminal case United States v. Carreto. NYATN member Sienna Baskin stated, “this ‘an example of people going above and beyond and being creative and thinking outside the box in order to make this happen. Now we need the lessons we learned in this case to be institutionalized.’”
NYATN member Sienna Baskin, co-director of the Sex Workers Project at the Urban Justice Center, was quoted in an The Christian Science Monitor‘s cover story on “Human Trafficking: A Misunderstood Global Scourge.” The article says in part:
“‘To throw the net and label all prostitution as trafficking is too broad,’ says Sienna Baskin, codirector of the Sex Workers Project at the Urban Justice Center, a group that provides services to commercial sex workers – those who have been trafficked as well as those who say they were not manipulated into prostitution. ‘It doesn’t recognize that people have a really wide array of experiences in commercial sex; it also means that you’re trying to put the same solution on a bunch of different problems.’” Read the article here.
In The Global Times‘s piece, “Despite good marks, human trafficking remains a problem in US,” NYATN steering committee member Crystal DeBoise, Sex Workers Project co-director, is quoted about how criminalizing sex work impacts trafficked persons. The article says in part:
“Crystal DeBoise, co-director of the Sex Workers Project, said criminalizing sex work, which is punishable by incarceration in the US, spurs it to go underground, and argued that the more secret the location, the less access health workers and others will be able to help potential trafficking victims.” Read more….
Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF) also issued a press release in response to the 2012 Trafficking in Persons Report. NYATN steering committee member Ivy Suriyopas, AALDEF staff attorney, stated, “Continued Presence and temporary visas are among our best tools in assisting trafficking survivors, and the consistently low numbers show that we are not making full use of them in our fight against trafficking.” Read more….