FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: New York, NY – February 24, 2014 – At any given time, an estimated 20.9 million people around the world are victims of human trafficking. Of these, an estimated 4.5 million are trafficked into the sex trade.
Women trafficked into the sex industry are particularly vulnerable to abuse and face the added threat of criminal prosecution for acts they were forced to commit. Resulting criminal convictions can continue to haunt trafficking survivors, preventing them from rebuilding their lives.
A brand new report, “Clearing the Slate: Seeking Effective Remedies for Criminalized Trafficking Victims,” released by the International Women’s Human Rights Clinic at the City University of New York (CUNY) School of Law, looks at the problem of criminalization of trafficking victims and New York’s experience with a novel 2010 law that helps survivors vacate convictions.
The release of the report is accompanied by a public event on Thursday, February 27, that will examine the factors that lead to criminalization of trafficking victims, identify the successes and challenges of implementing the law, and discuss other reforms to help trafficking survivors.
New York State Assembly Member Richard Gottfried will give introductory remarks. The event will continue with a panel discussion featuring the Hon. Toko Serita, presiding judge of the Queens County Human Trafficking Intervention Court; Sienna Baskin, co-director of the Sex Workers Project of the Urban Justice Center; Kate Mogulescu, supervising attorney at the Trafficking Victims Advocacy Project at the Legal Aid Society, and John Temple, attorney-in-charge at the Human Trafficking Program at the New York County District Attorney’s Office.
The event will take place beginning at 6 p.m. in CUNY School of Law’s Dave Fields Auditorium, 2 Court Square, Long Island City, NY.
About CUNY School of Law
Founded in 1983, CUNY School of Law is the premier public interest law school in the country. The school trains lawyers to serve the underprivileged and disempowered and to make a difference in their communities. A greater percentage of graduates from CUNY Law choose careers in public interest and public service than any other law school in the nation. PreLaw magazine ranks CUNY Law as the #1 law school in the nation for public interest, and National Jurist ranks CUNY Law second in the nation for diversity. U.S. News & World Report ranks CUNY Law fourth in the nation for “Best Clinical Programs,” and in the top ten for diversity. The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching has praised CUNY Law School for being one of the few law schools in the country to prepare students for practice through integrated instruction in theory, skills, and ethics.