NYATN Member Sex Workers Project’s Melissa Broudo is nominated to the Criminal Courts Committee of the New York City Bar Association
Sex Workers Project’s Melissa Broudo is nominated to the Criminal Courts Committee of the New York City Bar Association for a three-year term. This will enable her to shape criminal justice law and public policy in New York City as it affects sex workers and survivors of human trafficking.
NYATN Member Suzanne Tomatore Attends Human Trafficking Seminar in Europe with Official U.S. Delegation
City Bar Justice Center’s Immigrant Women & Children Project Director Suzanne Tomatore attended a human trafficking seminar in Warsaw, Poland on May 14-16, 2012. She was invited to be part of the official U.S. delegation as the only non-governmental representative. The other delegates included representatives from the State Department, Homeland Security, and the Department of Justice.
The conference was titled “The Human Dimension Seminar on the Rule of Law Framework for Combating Trafficking in Human Beings” and was organized by the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) and the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR). The conference was a platform for the exchange of views among different stakeholders on key aspects of the rule of law framework for combating trafficking in human beings.
OSCE is the world’s largest regional security organization. Its mandate includes issues such as arms control and the promotion of human rights, freedom of the press and fair elections. It has 550 headquarters staff and about 2,300 field staff. Members are from 56 States from Europe, Central Asia and North America. It offers a forum for political negotiations and decision-making in the fields of conflict prevention, crisis management and post-conflict rehabilitation, democratization, and human rights issues including human trafficking.
The Human Dimension Seminar was an opportunity to discuss the implementation of relevant OSCE commitments on the protection and assistance to trafficked persons and prevention of trafficking in human beings. The OSCE participating States and other stakeholders shared best practices and challenges in the area of anti-trafficking, as well as strategies for the better enforcement and implementation of OSCE commitments.
Ms. Tomatore presented on the topics of the victim in the criminal justice process and the primacy of human rights in the law.
In anticipation of the House’s polarizing Violence Against Women Act bill (HR4970) passing yesterday, State Sen. Toby Ann Stavisky (D-Flushing) and Assemblywoman Grace Meng (D-Flushing) introduced a NY bill last week, which “would bar state and local law enforcement from inquiring about the immigration status of victims or witnesses during a domestic violence investigation, or from turning victims seeking assistance over to federal authorities.” Called the New York Violence Against Women Act, the bill seeks to protect the confidential identities and statements of victims and witnesses in domestic violence cases, which the federal VAWA has done since its passage in 1994. NYATN, along with hundreds of immigration, faith, labor, civil rights, immigrant rights, and community organizations, strongly opposed HR4970. Both chambers of Congress will now need to reconcile HR4970 with the Senate’s S1925, which passed with bipartisan support 68-31, including all five Republican women, last month. NYATN Steering Committee member, Ivy Suriyopas of the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund stated, “Our legal system exists to ensure that criminals are brought to justice, not to punish victims.” Read more…..
NYATN joined 163 other immigration, faith, labor, civil rights, human rights, and community organizations advocating on behalf of immigrant victims of domestic violence, human trafficking, sexual assault, dating violence, and stalking in opposing H.R. 4970, Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2012 (VAWA) (Rep. Adams, R-FL). H.R. 4970 eliminates protections for crime victims offered by the U visa; H.R. 4970 denies battered immigrants the protections of “self-petitioning;” and H.R. 4970 requires DHS officials to conduct expensive and time-consuming, wasteful reviews of the victims’ cases that are not required in other areas of law motivated by unsubstantiated claims of fraud and abuse. Read more….
NYATN will host a Networking Breakfast at 10 am on Tuesday, May 15, 2012 at the Urban Justice Center. This is an opportunity for anti-trafficking advocates to meet and discuss prevailing issues impacting victims and survivors of human trafficking. Please RSVP by Friday, May 10, 2012.