NYATN members, including Florrie Burke, have worked tirelessly on the issue of how government funding policies adversely impact the reproductive health of victims and survivors of human trafficking, including supporting the ACLU’s efforts in its case, ACLU of Massachusetts v. Kathleen Sebelius, et al. This month, a federal judge ruled that the government cannot impose religious restrictions on reproductive health services for victims of human trafficking. “The court is right to insist that organizations receiving government funding cannot use their religion as an excuse to discriminate and withhold crucial services from victims of human trafficking,” said Brigitte Amiri, senior staff attorney with the ACLU Reproductive Freedom Project. Read more….
NYATN member Sex Workers Project works with the Sex Workers Outreach Project-New York City: “Despite how much debate we see about Backpage and other advertising sites, we still rarely hear the voices of sex workers. The The Sex Workers Outreach Project-New York City and Sex Workers Action New York (SWOP-NYC & SWANK) would like to identify the unintended consequences which arise out of a solution based on a misunderstanding of the problem. It is essential to listen to the voices of those who are most impacted, and as a membership-based, grassroots organization, we refuse to allow organizations to speak and make decisions on our behalf.” Read more….
Freedom Network (USA) hosted its annual conference in New York on March 21 and 22, 2012. The theme was “Beyond Rhetoric: Human Trafficking Work in the Field.” Click here for more information about previous conferences.
Sienna Baskin, of NYATN member organization Sex Workers Project, hosted a panel on innovative approaches to investigating and prosecuting human trafficking at the Freedom Network Conference. Panelists included Lynly Egyes, staff attorney at the Sex Workers Project, John Temple, Assistant District Attorney in the Sex Crimes Unit at the New York County DA’s Office, and Monica Ryan, Trial Attorney for the Department of Justice.
Ivy Suriyopas, of NYATN member organization Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund, co-facilitated a panel on “Cutting-Edge Anti-Trafficking Legislation: The Changes and Their Impact” with Coalition Against Slavery and Trafficking’s (CAST) Stephanie Richard at the Freedom Network Conference. Panelists included David Abramowitz, Vice President, Policy and Government Relations at Humanity United, Daniel Werner, Deputy Legal Director at the Southern Poverty Law Center, and Melissa Sontag Broudo (not pictured), Staff Attorney at the Sex Workers Project at the Urban Justice Center.
The Freedom Network will hold its annual Freedom Network Conference on March 21-22, 2012 at the City Bar Justice Center. This year’s theme is “Beyond Rhetoric: Human Trafficking – Work from the Field.” Click register.
City Bar Justice Center’s Suzanne Tomatore Discusses Servile Marriages and Laws Against Human Trafficking
The blog states in part: “’I think it’s great progress for prosecutors to look expansively at the human trafficking law and use the law to the extent fully envisioned by the law makers,’ says Suzanne Tomatore, an attorney who is director of the Immigrant Women & Children Project at the City Bar Justice Center.” Read more….
NYATN’s Women’s History Month Presentation – “Women’s Economic Opportunity: A Solution for Trafficking in Persons”
On March 6, 2012, in honor of Women’s History Month, NYATN presented “Women’s Economic Opportunity: A Solution for Trafficking in Persons“ at the 56th session of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women.
United Nations Church Center
777 United Nations Plaza, 44th St & 1st Ave
This was the 4th year that NYATN will present for the CSW. Previous topics included:
The City Bar Justice Center’s Suzanne Tomatore and Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund’s Ivy Suriyopas have been advocating for the rights of domestic workers who have been trafficked and exploited by diplomats. The New York Daily News wrote in part:
“Suzanne Tomatore of the City Bar Justice Center said she has represented a dozen diplomat trafficking victims since 2002.”
“After Damayan helped maid Marichu Baoanan escape in 2006, she successfully sued her ambassador employer. Baoanan, a Filipina who says she was ‘enslaved’ in an E. 66th St. townhouse by United Nations ambassador Lauro Baja, got an undisclosed settlement in 2011.
“‘She said that she felt like she was in prison,’ said Ivy Suriyopas, of the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund.”