NYATN members Avaloy Lanning and Dana Sussman at Safe Horizon’s Anti-Trafficking Program joined Martina Vandenberg on CNN’s ac360 on a segment called, “Uproar Surrounds Indian Diplomat’s Arrest.” They describe how the case, United States v. Khobragade, is more than merely a labor dispute. This case is one of many cases involving allegations of domestic worker complaints against their diplomat and consular employers. See also the U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara’s statement about the case, United States v. Khobragade.
Updates: Safe Horizon’s Dana Sussman also appeared on Good Morning America this morning on a segment called, “India Demands that U.S. Drop Case Against Diplomat.” She stated in part that the domestic worker “worked more or less around the clock.” See more.
The New York Times did a piece, “Fury in India over Diplomat’s Arrest in New York,” and quoted Sussman as saying, “My client is frustrated with how the media has portrayed this story and the response from the Indian government.” Read more.
She interviewed with CBS News in a piece, “Kerry Expresses Regret over Strip Search of Arrested Indian Diplomat.” Sussman says: “The victim in this case is not a criminal defendant but the person who was denied her wages and underpaid for her work.” Read more. And Sussman also appeared on CBS This Morning on December 20th in a segment called, “Protests in India Grow over U.S. Treatment of Diplomat,” saying that the domestic worker “left with essentially the clothes on her back.” See more.
Sussman told the AP, as reported in the Washington Post piece, “Worker Abuse by Diplomats a Problem, Advocates Say,” of the prevalence of exploitation and abuse of domestic workers by diplomats. She says, “We’ve seen it across the board, we’ve seen with country missions to the U.N., we’ve seen it with consular officials, diplomats of all levels.” Read more.
Sussman, Vandenberg, and Ivy Suriyopas reported on the frequency of exploitation of domestic workers in diplomat and consular households in the New York Times‘s piece, “Claim Against Indian Diplomat Has Echoes of Previous Cases.” Vandenberg says, ““These cases are the tip of the iceberg.” Read more.
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….
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….
NYATN members Crystal DeBoise, Co-Director of the Sex Workers Project, and Song Kim, Kirkland & Ellis Fellow of AALDEF‘s Anti-Trafficking Initiative, will be speaking at the “Hidden in Plain Sight: Sex Trafficking in NYC” Campus-Community Conference at SUNY Downstate School of Public Health on Saturday, December 7. Learn how to recognize the signs of human trafficking and engage in discussions on prevention and mitigation.