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NYATN Testifies About Human Trafficking and Domestic Workers for NYC Council

NYATN members from Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund, City Bar Justice Center, New York Asian Women’s Center, and Sex Workers Project at Urban Justice Center testified for the New York City Council on Friday, February 27, 2015 on, “Labor Trafficking in the Domestic Worker Industry – Resources for Victims in New York City (video).”

NYATN member Sex Workers Project's Crystal DeBoise (center) testifies alongside Legal Aid's Hollis Pfitsch and Catholic Migration Services's Alice Davis

NYATN member Sex Workers Project’s Crystal DeBoise (center) testifies alongside Legal Aid’s Hollis Pfitsch and Catholic Migration Services’s Alice Davis

View text of testimony of Ivy O. Suriyopas, NYATN steering member.  Suzanne Tomatore, a founder of NYATN and steering member, also provided testimony.  View full video testimony.

NYATN Advocates for a Human Rights-Based Approach for the Next Ambassador for the State Department’s Trafficking in Persons Office

NYATN submitted a letter in support of the appointment of a sophisticated anti-trafficking advocate who supports a human rights-based and comprehensive approach as the next Ambassador-at-Large for the Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons (J/TIP Office).  A response to trafficking in persons that is rooted in human rights respect the dignity and self-determination of the person who is thought to be a victim.  This means creating an environment where the person at risk is able to make his or her own decisions about the steps he or she needs to take in addressing the situation.  It also means doing the due diligence to investigate whether a situation actually involves coercion and trafficking, or not.  It is crucial that the J/TIP Office embodies our shared values of dignity, fairness, and opportunity that are central in a just society and for empowering people.

Report: Understanding the Organization, Operation, and Victimization Process of Labor Trafficking in the United States

A new report by the Urban Institute, “Understanding the Organization, Operation, and Victimization Process of Labor Trafficking in the United States,”  was just released and is only the third government-funded study on the issue of human trafficking into labor.  “This study chronicles the experiences of labor trafficking victims from the point of recruitment for work, their forced labor victimization, their attempts to escape and get help, and their efforts to seek justice through civil or criminal cases. The report finds that legal loopholes and lax enforcement enable labor traffickers to commit crimes against workers in major US industries: agriculture, domestic work, hotels, restaurants, and construction.”  Articles have shared highlights of the report, such as, “How the Crime of Labor Trafficking Helps Cities Run” and “Slave Labor in America Today,”  Read more….

NYATN Members Participate in Freedom Network (USA)’s Inaugural Member Report

NYATN members participated in the Freedom Network (USA)’s inaugural Member Report.  NYATN members include the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund, City Bar Justice Center’s Immigrant Women and Children Project, Florrie Burke, Safe Horizon, and Urban Justice Center’s Sex Workers Project.  Among the primary findings is that of the more than 2000 trafficking survivors served, 73 percent were trafficked for labor throughout the United States.  Read more….

Report Release – #OurFairCity: A Comprehensive Blueprint for Gender & Sexual Justice in New York City

The Center for Gender and Sexuality Law at Columbia Law School announced the release of its report, Our Fair City: A Comprehensive Blueprint for Gender & Sexual Justice in New York City, which includes contributions from NYATN.  Among the report’s recommendations are

  • Prohibit NYPD Practice of Using Condoms as Evidence for Prostitution-Related Offenses,
  • End Collaboration with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) on Deportation and Detention, and
  • Facilitate Access to Services for Trafficking Survivors.

Please use @NYATN and #OurFairCity to post or tweet about this report.  Read more….

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….

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