After the rescue of 105 teens in “Operation Cross Country,” a nationwide sweep targeting child sex trafficking, Senate Co-Leader Dean Skelos, R-Rockville Centre, called on the Assembly to return to Albany to pass the Women’s Equality Act.
The ten-point legislation was first introduced by Gov. Andrew Cuomo in June with the help of the Women’s Equality Coalition, a group of 850 organizations hoping to end gender discrimination across the state. One provision of the Women’s Equality Act would create an affirmative defense to a prostitution charge that the individual was a trafficking victim; increase penalties across the board for human trafficking and labor trafficking; create new offenses for johns of aggravated patronizing a minor; and create a civil action for victims of trafficking against their perpetrators.
On June 22, 2013, the New York legislature passed a bill extending Safe Harbor to 16- and 17- year old trafficked boys and girls. The Safe Harbor laws make it so minors arrested for prostitution are treated as victims of sex trafficking and provided with the services they need to rebuild their lives, instead of jail time and a criminal record that keep them vulnerable to exploitation.
Thank you to the 110 organizations of the New York State Anti-Trafficking Coalition who worked tirelessly to pass this bill and to sponsors Assemblywoman Amy Paulin and Senator Andrew Lanza.
A bill that would hold sex traffickers accountable for their heinous acts and beef up prosecutions in New York state was introduced by Albany lawmakers Tuesday, including state Sen. Andrew Lanza.
“New York should be on the forefront of this issue,” said NOW-NYC president Sonia Ossorio. “A strong law lets the people of New York know we care about human rights and it lets traffickers know … their free reign on our streets is over.”
Monday, April 22, 2013 | 8:30 am – 5:00 pm
Join the UJA Federation of New York’s Task Force on Family Violence for an all-day conference to explore our history and our obligation to combat sex-trafficking. This conference is open to all and will provide essential information for social-service, legal, and medial professionals; Jewish clergy, rabbinical students, and educators; lay leaders and all those interested in learning more about this form of modern day slavery.
Featured speakers include:
Rabbi Levi Lauer of ATZUM, a leading voice in Israel’s fight against sex trafficking
Isabel Vincent, author of Bodies and Souls: The Tragic Plight of Three Jewish Women Forced into Prostitution in the Americas
Rabbi Rachael Bregman, The Temple/Open Jewish Project, Atlanta
Rachel Durchslag, Chicago Alliance Against Sexual Eploitation
Susie Stern, President’s Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships
For more information: Lyudmila Liberchuk at or 212-836-1633
UJA-Federation of New York
Seventh Floor Conference Center
130 East 59th Street (between Park and Lexington Ave), NYC
Saturday, March 23 | 2 – 3:30 PM
Huxley Auditorium | New York State Museum | 260 Madison Avenue, Albany, NY
Focus and Purpose
The focus of this presentation will be on how Human Trafficking is impacting the Hispanic/Latino community in New York State. While Hispanics are the fastest growing minority group in the United States, this demographic continues to be underrepresented in all aspects of society, suffers from high poverty rates, highest High School drop out rates, and also disproportionately affected by Human Trafficking. The purpose of this presentation is geared at educating the Latino community about not only how to identify a potential situation but also how and where to seek help.
Speakers will address Federal and State Law and how modern-day cases can be found in least-thought of places – not just in NYC but across NYS. The audience may be able to ask questions if time permits, with guided time limitations.
Issues to be addressed
- Impact in the Hispanic/Latino Community
- Ways to combat Human Trafficking in our community
- Resources available to organizations and victims
Human Trafficking in New York
- Between 2000 and 2010, 11,268 trafficking victims were provided with social and legal services in New York City alone (of these, 6,580 were minors).
- Last year in NYS nearly three times as many people in prostitution, many sex trafficking victims, were arrested as johns.
- In 2011, 3,893 people in prostitution were arrested in New York State.
- Director of Midtown Community Court identified 70% of the people arrested for prostitution in their court as trafficking victims.
Eliminating Human Trafficking from Government Contracting
On September 25, 2012, President Obama signed his landmark executive order aiming to eradicate trafficking from all federal contracts and subcontracts. By this March, the Federal Acquisition Regulation will be amended, requiring federal contractors and subcontractors to be able to report that their supply chains have a clean bill of anti-trafficking health (note that “trafficking” is defined broadly to include coerced labor, indentured servitude, etc.; no movement of the person is required). These new regulations will also require self-reporting and full cooperation with investigators.
Governor Cuomo unveiled the Women’s Equality Act in his State of the State address yesterday. The plan includes policy changes that will increase penalties for the crime of human trafficking and make it easier for sex trafficking victims—especially minors— to avoid being unfairly prosecuted for prostitution. Learn more. For more details on the Coalition’s proposal to end trafficking in New York, click here.
Less than half of the 96 U.S. Attorney’s Offices have prosecuted a trafficking case. ECPAT-USA has been collecting hundreds of news articles, press releases and court documents identifying hotels that have been used for the commercial sex trade. Missing from ECPAT’s collection are the procesutions by the US Attorney Offices against pimps for child sex trafficking. Where does this leave the victims?
From a 2002 series of posters in a campaign coordinated by the Swedish government. Photo: The Swedish Government
Recently, catching up on email after a few days of hiking in the wilderness, my heart leapt at a headline “French minister seeks abolition of prostitution in France and Europe.” She is Najat Vallaud-Belkacem, France’s minister of women’s rights. The new French campaign to abolish prostitution will have its naysayers: “Impossible!” “too idealistic,” “so utopian it will never happen!” And, of course, those who promote the sex industries will insist that “sex is work and women’s choice.” I heard those refrains in 1991 when, as executive director and co-founder of the UN Human Rights NGO, the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women, I began to launch a global campaign to criminalize prostitution customers, otherwise known as johns or punters.
Read the full story: http://bit.ly/ToMxvA