Who We Are
NY Anti-Trafficking Network (NYATN) sheds light on the problem of trafficking in persons, with the goal of ending and preventing trafficking, and providing survivors with the help they need to reclaim their lives and their voices. We leverage our collective expertise as lawyers, social workers, and policy advocates to change law and policy on trafficking. NYATN has provided direct legal and social services to several thousand survivors of human trafficking since 2002.
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.
What We Do
NYATN provides direct legal and social services to survivors of trafficking, and changes law and policy on trafficking. We activate and support a wide range of stakeholders involved in anti-trafficking work, including survivors, policymakers, media, advocates, influencers, and law enforcement.
Key successes include passage of one of the most comprehensive state anti-trafficking laws in the country in 2007; increasing access in New York State to crucial rights and services in 2015; creating a national model for addressing criminal convictions for survivors; advocating for federal and international laws and policies on trafficking; and supporting survivors in hundreds of landmark prosecutions.
Our Steering Committee Members and Co-Founders
Florrie Burke, M.Ed., MA, LMFT is a consultant on Modern Day Slavery to both governmental and non governmental agencies. She is a founding member and currently a Co-Chair of the Freedom Network and serves as the Coordinator of the Freedom Network Training Institute. She has done extensive training, speaking and consultation on Human Trafficking issues, trauma and torture both nationally and internationally. She has served as an Expert Witness on several high profile cases of Human Trafficking. She is a member of the Expert Initiative on Human Trafficking at the UNODC in Vienna and is part of three working groups developing materials for first responders and others who may encounter Human Trafficking. Ms. Burke has been working with trafficked persons since 1997 when she designed and implemented specialized social services to sixty deaf Mexicans who were held in slavery in a peddling ring in NYC. Ms. Burke also designed and implemented a model for Community Trauma Response following the attacks on September 11th. In 2007 Ms. Burke received the National Crime Victims Recognition Service Award from the Department of Justice, Office for Victims of Crime. She has been honored by the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice, by the Wage and Hour Division of the U.S. Department of Labor and was awarded the Annual Paul and Sheila Wellstone Award by the Freedom Network USA.
Mary Caparas is the Project Free (Anti-Human Trafficking) Manager at Womankind, a pan-Asian agency on the East Coast that serves both labor and sex trafficked survivors. At NYAWC, Mary has worked directly with community members who have faced exploitation and abuse, oversees the Asian Women’s Empowerment Program, and continues to raise awareness about this community issue. Mary earned her M.S.W. from the Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College with a concentration in Community Organizing, Planning and Development. She is currently the co-chair of the social services committee of the Freedom Network. Mary has worked with diverse communities on issues of health care, education and immigration both in New York City and in London, UK.
Crystal DeBoise, LCSW, is a Managing Director of the Sex Workers Project at the Urban Justice Center. She founded the Human Trafficking Services Program at New York Association for New Americans in 2002. Prior to that, she provided counseling services to victims of violence in a substance abuse clinic in the Bronx, was a housing specialist for survivors of domestic violence, and worked in the public school system. She works with clients and systems eclectically, using a harm reduction approach that respects the rights of all people to therapeutic care.
Rebecca de Simone is the Director of the Human Trafficking Program with My Sisters’ Place in Westchester County, NY and oversees client services and case management. She has held numerous roles within the anti-violence movement as a counselor, victim advocate, educator/trainer, and program director on behalf of people impacted by intimate partner violence, sexual assault, and human trafficking, including runaway and homeless youth. Rebecca utilizes a trauma-informed approach in her practice and views anti-violence work and recovery from trauma through a lens of intersectionality and justice. She holds a Master’s degree in Social Work from The University of Connecticut and NYS Social Work Licensure. She also represents MSP with the Freedom Network and as co-chair of the Westchester County Anti-Trafficking Task Force.
Amy Fleischauer, LMSW is currently the Director of Survivor Support Services at the International Institute of Buffalo (IIB), a program that supports the efforts of survivors of human trafficking and domestic violence in their work toward safety and self-sufficiency. Grounded in the principals of trauma-informed care, harm-reduction and the battered women’s movement, IIB provides culturally competent and linguistically appropriate services to approximately 180 survivors from 45 different countries of origin each year. Ms. Fleischauer has served as the co-leader of the Western District of New York’s Anti-Trafficking Task Force since its inception in 2007. In addition, Ms. Fleischauer serves as the Director of Survivor Support Services for the Northern Tier Anti-Trafficking Consortium, providing training and technical assistance for organizations administering direct care to survivors of human trafficking across fourteen states.
Ms. Fleischauer is a consistent presenter and panelist at state and national conferences on topics including working effectively with law enforcement partners, trauma-informed case management, cultural competency, and managing large-survivor cases. She has a certificate in Trauma Counseling from the University of Buffalo and recently became certified by SAMHSA to train on the topic of “How Being Trauma-Informed Improves Criminal Justice System Responses”. Ms. Fleischauer was awarded the 2010 FBI Directors Community Leadership Award and the 2009 New York State Governor’s Certificate of Recognition for her anti-trafficking efforts. She currently serves on the Steering Committee of Freedom Network USA, having held positions of Membership Co-Chair (2010-2013) and Conference Co-Chair (2013-2015).
Song Kim is a Staff Attorney heading the Anti-Trafficking Initiative at the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund, a national organization that protects and promotes civil rights by combining litigation, advocacy, education, and organizing. Song represents victims and survivors of human trafficking and other crimes on their applications for immigration relief and in federal civil litigation. Song works closely with API community-based organizations in the New York metropolitan area to provide trainings and technical assistance. Song is a member of the Brooklyn Human Trafficking Task Force and the Asian Anti-Violence Network. She is an Issues Committee Co-Chair for the Asian American Bar Association of New York. Song received her J.D. from New York University School of Law, and her B.A. in Sociology from the University of Southern California. She is a former Kirkland and Ellis New York City Public Service Fellow.
Leigh Latimer is a Supervising Attorney with the Legal Aid Society in New York City where she has worked since 1987. From 1987 to 2004 she represented clients charged with misdemeanors and felonies from their arraignment through trial, plea or alternate dispositions. Starting in 2004 Leigh was assigned to work in the Queens County Treatment Courts as Legal Aid’s representative where she represented clients whose cases would be dismissed if they completed drug treatment. In 2013 Leigh became a founding member of Legal Aid’s Exploitation Intervention Project (EIP). As part of EIP Leigh represents clients charged with prostitution-related offenses in criminal court and advocates for trafficking victims in a variety of settings. She also supervises other members of the project which include four attorneys, a social worker and paralegal/case-handler. Leigh received a BS from the University of Illinois and a law degree from the University of Denver. After graduating from law school, Leigh clerked for Judge Lois Forer in the Court of Common Pleas in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Leigh is on the board of Izote, a small local not-for-profit, which works with rural communities in El Salvador implementing and supporting literacy and health-care projects.
Suzanne B. Seltzer is the Principal of The Seltzer Firm, PLLC, a boutique immigration law firm based in New York City. Ms. Seltzer is the Chair of the American Immigration Lawyers Association’s (AILA) Service Center Operations (SCOPS) Liaison Committee, and has served for almost ten years on AILA’s Annual Conference Planning Committee. Ms. Seltzer also co-founded the New York Anti-Trafficking Network in 2002, was the lead author on all three editions of the “The T Visa Manual” and lead author on “Immigration Relief for Crime Victims: The U Visa Manual,” and continues to sit on its Steering Committee. Ms. Seltzer regularly speaks and publishes on matters relating to immigration law. She obtained her JD from Georgetown University Law Center, and her B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania.
Juhu Thukral, Esq. is a leading advocate on the rights of women, girls, and LGBTQ people in the areas of sexual health and rights, gender-based violence, economic opportunity, immigration, and criminal justice. She is also an expert and strategist on narrative, framing, and digital storytelling.
Juhu is a founder of numerous ventures supporting women and LGBTQ people, and has been recognized as one of 21 Leaders for the 21st Century (2012) by Women’s eNews, a 2013 Trailblazer by Re:Gender, and an Everyday Shero by NAPAWF. She was also selected to give the inaugural talk for the Anita Hill Lecture Series.
Juhu is the Director of Law and Advocacy at The Opportunity Agenda, where she is on the senior management team and leads strategic communications, cultural, and policy initiatives and training programs on economic, immigrant, and gender and sexuality concerns.
Prior to this, Juhu was the founder and Director of the Sex Workers Project at the Urban Justice Center in New York City, where she continues to act as a Senior Advisor. She founded the Sex Workers Project in 2001, after recognizing the strong need for an organization that protects the legal and human rights of sex workers. Juhu is also a founding Steering Committee member of the NY Anti-Trafficking Network. In 2010, she co-founded the NYC Women’s Salon.
Juhu has spoken widely on issues of gender, sexuality, narrative, and framing; has authored numerous articles on these subjects; and has served as an expert source for a wide range of media outlets.
She obtained her J.D. from the University of San Francisco School of Law, where she was awarded the Elaine Osborne Jacobson Award for Women in Health Care Law, and her B.A. from Rice University.
Suzanne Tomatore, Esq. is the Director of the Immigrant Women and Children Project at the New York City Bar Association’s City Bar Justice Center. Ms. Tomatore represents survivors of domestic violence, human trafficking, child abuse and violent gender-based crimes in immigration matters and trains and mentors other attorneys to do so. She has trained community-based organizations, health-care providers, law enforcement and government officials, including international delegates from the U.S. Department of State International Visitors Program, on human trafficking. She has lectured on this topic across the United States and abroad, including Canada, Venezuela, Mongolia and the Philippines. Ms. Tomatore has participated in international delegations at the request at the U.S. Department of State to Warsaw and Brussels. She was the co-chair of the Freedom Network, a coalition of almost forty non-governmental organizations and individuals that provide services to, and advocate for the rights of, trafficking survivors in the United States from 2011-2013. She currently sits on their board. She is an active participant of multiple anti-trafficking task forces including the Brooklyn DA’s Human Trafficking Task Force. She is a founding member of the New York Anti-trafficking Network. Ms. Tomatore was an instructor in immigration law at the City University of New York Graduate Center School of Professional Studies. Prior to joining the City Bar, Ms. Tomatore was a recipient of the Open Society Institute Community Fellowship for implementing and directing the Immigrant Community Domestic Violence Project, hosted by CUNY School of Law Immigrant Initiatives in New York City.