Human Rights and Trafficking in Persons: Empowering Women to Address Poverty

Please save the date for our upcoming panel at the Commission on the Status of Women, “Human Rights and Trafficking in Persons: Empowering Women to Address Poverty”. The panel will be held Tuesday, March 15, 2016 at 6:15 PM in midtown Manhattan. More information to follow soon.

New Report Highlights Impact of Legal Services on Human Trafficking Survivors

The City Bar Justice Center’s Immigrant Women & Children Project (IWC) has released a report examining how legal services have helped clients change their lives. For the report, the IWC interviewed a sample of 50 current and former IWC clients, all of whom are survivors of trafficking.

The report affirms that receiving legal services is key to help­ing survivors of trafficking pursue their dreams of education, gainful employment, and family reunification where possible. The report outlines the types of legal services provided, current immigration status, and the number of clients that pursued education after receiving IWC’s assistance, among other data.

IWC assists low-income survivors of violent crimes, including inti­mate-partner violence, trafficking, sexual assault, child abuse, and hate crimes. IWC represents adults and children in immigration matters with the goal of promoting better access to safety, stability, and self-sufficiency.

The report may be viewed here.

 

Human Trafficking and Racial Justice

New York Anti-Trafficking Network’s own Juhu Thukral has a new piece in the Huffington Post on Human Trafficking and Racial Justice in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

“Consistent waves of media cover the issue of human trafficking, and it’s attained a fairly mainstream level of attention. So much so that January is now known as National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month, or as Human Trafficking Awareness Month. More people are learning about trafficking and understand it involves people in vulnerable situations experiencing coercion in their work. At its most basic, trafficking is about people living and working in a climate of fear, not free to leave exploitative and dangerous working conditions”. To read more, please go here.

Categories: Uncategorized

To Live Freely in This World: Sex Worker Activism in Africa

A Conversation with Chi Adanna Mgbako, author of To Live Freely in This World: Sex Worker Activism in Africa and Clinical Professor of Law in the Leitner Center for International Law and Justice at Fordham Law School, and Kholi Buthelezi, long-time South African sex worker activist and National Coordinator of Sisonke. Based on original fieldwork in seven African countries, To Live Freely in This World is the first book to fully document the sex workers’ rights movement in Africa. Join us for a conversation about the history, challenges, and successes of one of the most vibrant and fastest-growing segments of the global sex workers’ rights struggle. Moderated by Sienna Baskin, Co-director of the Sex Workers Project at the Urban Justice Center.

You can engage and ask questions from wherever you are in the world! We will be live broadcasting this event through Periscope. Follow us on Periscope @SWP4rights or Twitter @UJCsexworkers to tune in.

Sponsored by

Sex Workers Project at the Urban Justice Center

Leitner Center for International Law and Justice at Fordham Law School

Books available at the event, or purchase here.

 

For more information, go here.

NYATN’s Sienna Baskin on MSNBC!

Sienna Baskin, Managing Director of the Sex Workers Project and NYATN steering committee member, was on So Popular with Janet Mock on MSNBC on January 8, 2016. The topic was sex workers’ rights and decriminalization. They discussed sex worker rights and how they are portrayed in the media and in pop culture. She was joined by Verónica Bayetti Flores, and journalist Melissa Gira Grant. You can check it out here.

#TalkTraffic: Human Rights Day and Ending Trafficking in Persons

Today, December 10th, is Human Rights Day. It’s a day to reflect on the rights we all have, just by virtue of our human dignity, and on the many ways we can work to protect and enhance rights and safety for everyone. This year, there’s a special focus on the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. That means thinking more deeply about ways to support economic empowerment to ensure people have the opportunity and autonomy they need in order to thrive. To read more, please go here.

NYATN Statement on 2015 Trafficking Victims Protection and Justice Act: Calling on the NYS Senate to Pass Additional Anti-Trafficking Legislation

The NY Anti-Trafficking Network (NYATN) is the first network of anti-trafficking service providers, policy advocates, and activists in New York State. NYATN has provided direct legal and social services to several thousand survivors of human trafficking since 2002. NYATN is dedicated to ending human trafficking and to providing qualified and appropriate services that give survivors the help they want and need in reclaiming their lives.

NYATN roots our advocacy work in basic human rights principles. We are dedicated to a nuanced approach to anti-trafficking efforts that reduces reliance on the criminal justice system and instead values economic opportunity, immigration policy change, and gender equality. We stand firm in promoting dignity, self-determination, and opportunity for people of all genders and experiences.

Trafficking Victims Protection and Justice Act (A.506/S.007)

NYATN welcomes efforts to improve New York’s current anti-trafficking law—already one of the strongest and most comprehensive in the country—particularly those efforts aimed at meeting the needs of trafficking survivors. We are extremely pleased that the Trafficking Victims Protection and Justice Act (TVPJA) includes a private right of action for survivors of trafficking to seek compensation and economic justice, as well as an affirmative defense for people trafficked into prostitution. We appreciate that the TVPJA streamlines access to services for survivors.

While passage of the TVPJA is an important step forward in providing for the needs of trafficking survivors, its primary focus appears to be on enhanced criminal penalties that neither prevent trafficking, nor protect victims and survivors of trafficking. In fact, some of these provisions—such as the increase in penalties for crimes involving vehicles—actually harm victims of trafficking, as it is often a driver who facilitates escape from a trafficking situation. The provisions focused on prostitution in a school zone do not address trafficking at all. In addition, the provisions adding new offenses to the sex offender registry are not designed to identify traffickers or survivors of trafficking, and they do not prevent trafficking. In fact, they cause greater harm to young people and others at risk of being trafficked. Finally, the TVPJA does not equalize treatment of trafficking into all labor sectors.

NYATN is concerned and disappointed these unnecessary and potentially harmful provisions on criminal offenses have been included in the final TVPJA. We continue to call for responses to trafficking in persons rooted in human rights and dignity for all people at risk of being trafficked.

Next Steps

We applaud Assemblyman Joseph Lentol for recognizing several service-related elements were missing from the TVPJA and addressing this in a separate bill, A.2953. The Assembly has wisely passed the Lentol bill, and we now call on the Senate to take action this coming session. We ask for immediate action on this important additional component of New York’s anti-trafficking response and urge both houses to also pass the End Criminalization of Condoms Act, which would protect those most vulnerable to trafficking into prostitution. NYATN understands that enactment of the TVPJA does not signify that we have met all of New York’s anti-trafficking legislative priorities and recognizes there is more that can be accomplished toward this goal. We look forward to working with the Assembly and Senate to continue to improve New York State’s response to this crucial human rights issue.

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