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….
Urban Justice Center created a petition in support of New York’s “No Condoms as Evidence Bill:”
“Over 27,000 people already sent letters to the NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg asking him to tell police forces to stop considering condoms as evidence of intent to commit any crime and by making public statements declaring that no one should be afraid to practice safe sex in their city.
“Now, a bill in the state legislature would make it illegal to use condoms as evidence of intent to commit the crime of prostitution.”
Urban Justice Center’s Sex Workers Project, the New York Anti-Trafficking Network, and others have been advocating in support of the No Condoms as Evidence of Prostitution bill (S323/A1008). The bill passed the Codes Committee and is now on the floor. Show your support: Please vote YES on Assembly Bill A1008/Senate Bill S323.
In light of the Secret Service Scandal, NYATN Member Sienna Baskin Stresses the Plight of Sex Workers
NYATN Member Sex Workers Project Co-Director Sienna Baskin stresses the plight of sex workers in light of the prostitution scandal that has rocked the Secret Service on ABC News. In support of New York’s A1008/S323, which would prohibit police and prosecutors from citing possession of condoms as evidence of prostitution, she states, “We’ve found in New York that when sex workers are criminalized, they are afraid to go to police when they are victims of crime, including theft, rape and human trafficking.” Show your support for A1008/S323. Read more….
Urban Justice Center’s Sex Workers Project, the New York Anti-Trafficking Network, and others have been advocating in support of the No Condoms as Evidence of Prostitution bill (S323/A1008). If enacted, this bill would prevent condoms from being used to prove acts of prostitution in criminal or civil court. The New York Times wrote in part:
“‘Now there’s more support,’ said Sienna Baskin, the co-director of the Sex Workers Project of the Urban Justice Center. She cites the New York Civil Liberties Union, Planned Parenthood and the Public Health Association of New York City as some of the organizations that have been compiling research to convince lawmakers. In July, both Human Rights Watch, which is working on a national study of the issue, and George Soros’s Open Society Foundation, which is compiling an international study, will release their reports. “ Support New York’s bill. Read more….
In 2010, New York became the first state in the nation to allow victims of sex trafficking to clear their records of prior prostitution-related crimes. This program will help you to identify whether your client may have been trafficked and will serve as an introduction to the process of filing a motion to vacate a prior prostitution-related conviction.
Thursday, March 29th, 2012 at 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the NYC Bar Association. Space is limited. To RSVP, email Julia Busetti at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sex work does NOT EQUAL Trafficking: The conflation of these issues perpetuates policies and practices that do not reflect the needs of those engaged in sex work: the willing, those doing it out of economic necessity, or those trafficked.