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NYATN opposes MSNBC’s program, Slave Hunter: Freeing Victims of Human Trafficking

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….

City Bar Justice Center Releases Special Report on 150 Human Trafficking Cases

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….

The New York Times published NYATN member Sex Workers Project’s Letter to the Editor

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….

NYATN Member’s Piece, “Steps Forward – and Setbacks – for Sex Workers’ Rights”

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….

New York City Bar has released its memorandum on the New York Women’s Equality Act

The New York City Bar has released its memorandum on the New York Women’s Equality Act (A.8070), including its analysis of “Part H – Strengthening Sex Trafficking Laws.”  The City Bar’s Committee on Sex and Law supports the greater emphasis on services for trafficked persons, the creation of an affirmative defense where the defendant’s participation was a result of having been a victim of sex trafficking, and the raising of the penalty for labor trafficking to a B felony.  The Committee also noted that Assembly Member Joseph Lentol’s bill, A.7474, creates a private right of action for trafficked persons to seek compensation as well as a right to counsel for trafficked persons seeking to vacate convictions from their criminal records.  Read more.

Read more about NYATN’s memorandum in support of A.M. Lentol’s bill, A.7474.  Please consider signing on.

Read more about NYATN’s memorandum and recommendations on how to make the Women’s Equality Act successful.

NYATN is Pleased to Support New York Bill A.7474 (Lentol), Which Prioritizes the Needs of Human Trafficking Victims and Survivors

Update: As of June 20, 2013, we have the following organizational sign-ons: Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund, International Institute of Buffalo, Safe Horizon, Sex Workers Project of the Urban Justice Center, T’ruah: The Rabbinic Call for Human Rights (formerly Rabbis for Human Rights – North America), University of Buffalo Women, Children, and Social Justice Law Clinic, Volunteer Lawyers Project, Worker Justice Center of New York, and YWCA of Niagara County.

NYATN presents its Memorandum in Support of A.7474, a bill introduced by New York State Assembly Members Joseph Lentol (D-50), Andrew Hevesi (D-28), and Daniel O’Donnell (D-69) on May 21, 2013.  This bill is critical to facilitating the identification of trafficked persons, improving their access to much needed services, and enabling them to more safely aid in the investigation and prosecution of their traffickers.

NYATN is pleased to support this legislation, which clearly addresses the circumstances faced by victims of human trafficking and prioritizes their needs. For more details, please review our memorandum in support of this important legislation.

We hope you sign on and share our support!

NYATN presents its Memorandum on the Women’s Equality Agenda and the Trafficking Victims Protection and Justice Act

In light of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s formal introduction of the Women’s Equality Act bill (A.8070), the NY Anti-Trafficking Network presents its Memorandum on the Women’s Equality Agenda and the Trafficking Victims Protection and Justice Act, which specifically addresses the anti-trafficking provisions of the bill.  The WEA bill largely adopts portions from Assemblymember Amy Paulin’s Trafficking Victims Protection and Justice Act bill (A.2240A), which is sponsored by Senator Andrew Lanza in the Senate (S.2135A).  As the first coalition of legal and social service organizations in New York that provides services to, and advocates for the rights of, trafficking survivors, we hope that our concerns and recommendations will contribute to the dialogue and provide vital information regarding the needs of survivors of human trafficking.  Read more.

Florrie Burke’s Op-Ed: Forced Into Prostitution — and Denied a Lifeline

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.

How enforcement of immigration laws could be making human trafficking tougher to detect

NYATN‘s Avaloy Lanning, senior director of Safe Horizon’s Anti-Trafficking Program, and Ivy Suriyopas, director of the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund’s Anti-Trafficking Initiative, were in The U.S. News and World Report‘s “Modern Slavery Emerging from the Shadows,” by Kira Zalan.  It addresses how enforcement of immigration laws could be making human trafficking tougher to detect.

Says Lanning: “The trafficker uses [work-related visas] against [workers], [saying], if you run then you’re going to be illegal, then immigration is going to pick you up, arrest you and deport you.”

Says Suriyopas: “”Immigrant victims are not going to come forward if they fear that the NYPD or the LAPD are not going to come help them but might label them a criminal first and ask questions later.”

Read more….

NYATN member Florrie Burke spoke on “Measures on Human Trafficking in the United States”

Florrie Burke

Florrie Burke

NYATN member Florrie Burke spoke at a hearing on “Measures on Human Trafficking in the United States” before the Organization of American States’ Inter-American Commission on Human Rights.  See video of her testimony, starting at 1:20.

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