Tuesday, November 6, 2007

New York Magazine to Drop Sex Ads

UPDATE: New York Magazine to Drop Sex Ads

November 8th Protest Cancelled

New York Magazine has decided to eliminate its "adult" advertisements and to work with NOW-NYC to fight human trafficking in the coming year. This is great news for the magazine, women and the movement to bring an end to human trafficking in our city. We applaud the leadership of New York Magazine, and we look forward to celebrating this progress in the very near future with you.


Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Protect Children from Sexual Exploitation in Tourism

Each year, over a million children are exploited in the global commercial sex trade. Child sex tourism (CST) involves people who travel from their own country to another and engage in commercial sex acts with children. CST is a shameful assault on the dignity of children and a form of violent child abuse and violence. The commercial sexual exploitation of children has devastating consequences for these minors, which may include long-lasting physical and psychological trauma, disease (including HIV/AIDS), drug addiction, unwanted pregnancy, malnutrition, social ostracism, and possibly death.

Tourists engaging in CST often travel to developing countries looking for anonymity and the availability of children in prostitution. The crime is typically fueled byweak law enforcement, corruption, the Internet, ease of travel, and poverty. These sexual offenders come from all socio-economic backgrounds and may hold positions of trust. Previous cases of child sex tourism involving U.S. citizens have included a pediatrician, a retired Army sergeant, a dentist and a university professor. Child pornography is frequently involved in these cases; and drugs may also be used to solicit or control the minors.

Over the last five years, there has been an increase in the prosecution of child sex tourism offenses. At least 32 countries have extraterritorial laws that allow the prosecution of their citizens for CST crimes committed abroad. In response to the phenomenon of CST, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), the tourism industry, and governments have begun to address the issue. The World Tourism Organization (WTO) established a task force to combat CST. The WTO, the NGO End Child Prostitution, Child Pornography and Trafficking of Children for Sexual Purposes (ECPAT), and Nordic tour operators created a global Code of Conduct for the Protection of Children from Sexual Exploitation in Travel and Tourism in 1999. As of June 2005, 200 travel companies from 21 countries had signed the code (see www.thecode.org.).

What you can do:

ECPAT-USA has recently begun a letter campaign aimed at persuading the CEOs of large hotels to sign the Code of Conduct. Some CEOs have bee responsive; others have not.

On Thursday, November 8th, come to the cafeteria between 11-1 and sign a letter to the President of the Hyatt, one of hotels the ECPAT letter campaign is targeting, declaring your disgust with child sex tourism and asking him to sign the Code of Conduct.

HOLLY: A new film exposing child sex exploitation

Wednesday, November 14, 2007 at 4:15pm
Clearview Cinemas, 1871 Broadway at 62nd street

A feature length narrative film based on the true stories of abducted children and their fight for freedom. Starring Ron Livingston, Virginie Ledoyan, Udo Kier, the late Chris Penn and introducing 14 year-old Thuy Nguyen.

This is a screening event with Q&A afterwards... just for FORDHAM students and faculty
Fordham students: $11




HOLLY is an insightful and jarring story of child prostitution told through the complex relationship between Holly (Thuy Nguyen), a 12-year-old Vietnamese girl, and Patrick (Ron Livingston), an American dealer of stolen artifacts.

Holly has been sold by her poor family and smuggled across the border to Cambodia to work as a prostitute in the infamous "K11" red light village. While Holly waits to be sold at a premium for her virginity, she meets Patrick who is losing money and friends through gambling and bar fights.

Their initial strong connection is disrupted when Holly is sold to a child trafficker and disappears. Patrick's pursuit to find Holly again, and her unrelenting efforts to escape her fate, carry us through the beautiful and harsh Cambodia.

HOLLY is not just one girl.
She is the voice of millions of children who are exploited and violated every year with no rights or protection.


November 13 @ 9:45 PM – General Student Screening ($11)– https://www.ovationtix.com/trs/pe/220861

November 13 @ 4:15 PM – General Student Screening ($11) – https://www.ovationtix.com/trs/pe/220431

November 16 @ 1:30 PM – General Student Screening ($11) - https://www.ovationtix.com/trs/pe/220511

November 18 @ 1:30 pm – General Student Screening ($11) – https://www.ovationtix.com/trs/pe/220721

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

FAQ's about anti-trafficking legislation

Q: Why does New York State need a trafficking bill?

A: Existing laws against crimes such as rape and kidnapping don’t adequately address trafficking. Kidnapping requires that the victim be secreted, held, or confined; rape requires an imminent threat of force; and these elements are not always present in a trafficking situation. Traffickers use a range of techniques including deceit, intimidation, implicit threats, immigration abuse, and other methods to control their victims. A trafficker might, for example, lure a victim to the United States with a fraudulent job offer, take away the victim’s passport and money, surround the victim with accomplices who appear physically menacing, and threaten to report the victim to the police unless he or she follows orders. For a victim who has no resources and is terrified by the prospect of contact with an unfamiliar police force in an unknown country, such conduct might be enough to ensure the victim’s compliance so that the trafficker can exploit the victim in a brutal - and highly profitable - manner. The misdemeanor penalties for offenses such as promoting prostitution are too low to create adequate deterrence against a criminal enterprise in which the potential profits are huge, driven by the extensive demand for commercial sex or cheap labor. And these low-level penalties fail to address the highly abusive and harmful behavior that is specific to trafficking, or the devastating after-effects for victims.

Q: Isn't trafficking a federal offense? Why isn't the federal law enough?

A: With trafficking (as with other crime categories), federal authorities pick and choose which cases to investigate and prosecute. Typically they choose larger-scale cases, which might involve multiple defendants, multiple victims, and an extensive criminal enterprise with significant assets. This is in no way intended as a criticism of federal anti-trafficking enforcement; it is simply the nature of federal efforts against all types of crimes, including narcotics, weapons, and stalking, that federal law enforcement leaves many untouched cases for state authorities to pursue. As to narcotics, weapons, and stalking, there are strong state laws complementing federal laws; states need strong anti-trafficking laws as well. Moreover, it is often state and local police officers - not federal agents - who come into contact with trafficking victims during local operations such as brothel raids. Without a state anti-trafficking law, these officers are less likely to consider the possibility that the women they arrest for prostitution may in fact be crime victims rather than criminals. State legislatures are quickly realizing that anti-trafficking laws are needed at the state level: twenty-two states have enacted anti-trafficking laws as of 2006.

Q: What would an effective anti-trafficking law include?

A: An effective anti-trafficking bill would: 
1. Define trafficking with reference to the typical kinds of fraud and coercion that traffickers commonly use on their victims, rather than the narrow doctrine of "imminent threat of force." 
2. Create strong penalties for the traffickers-enough to provide meaningful deterrence to an enormously profitable criminal activity. 
3. Address those who patronize the sex industry, as they create the demand that makes the industry so profitable and creates the motive for trafficking. 
4. Clarify existing law on sex tourism in order to stop the sex tour operators who conduct business in New York State, promoting sex tours that drive trafficking in poorer countries, where victims have no recourse against those who profit from their suffering.
5. Create remedies for victims of trafficking, including a defense for trafficked individuals who are sometimes arrested for the very acts of prostitution that they are coerced to perform; allow victims to recover restitution and damages from traffickers. 
6. Provide services to assist trafficking victims in rehabilitating their lives.

- from www.stophumantraffickingny.org/FAQ.html

Useful Websites

Very useful website with information on trafficking, news articles, and links to anti-trafficking organizations around the world.

UNODC Trafficking in Human Beings:
Information on the U.N. Protocol to Prevent, Suppress, and Punish Trafficking in Persons and links to useful websites.

U.S. State Department:
Information on the federal law against trafficking, Trafficking Victims Protection Act, and links to the yearly Trafficking in Persons Reports, which document the anti-trafficking efforts of countries worldwide.

Coalition Against Trafficking in Women
The Coalition Against Trafficking in Women (CATW) is creating real and lasting changes in countries around the world by launching and supporting anti-trafficking projects in areas that few programs address: the links between prostitution and trafficking; challenging the demand for prostitution that promotes sex trafficking; and protecting the women and children who are its victims by working to curb legal acceptance and tolerance of the sex industry.

New York State Anti-Trafficking Organizations:

NY State Anti-Trafficking Coalition:
A group of organizations that have joined forces to advocate for an effective New York State law to criminalize traffickers and to protect and help victims of this abuse.

Equality Now:
The Campaign Against Sex Tourism/Trafficking addresses the commercial sexual exploitation of women in its campaign against sex tourism and trafficking.

Safe Horizon:
Safe Horizon assists survivors of human trafficking within the greater New York City area.

National Organization of Women – New York City:
NOW-NYC's human trafficking campaign started in the fall of 2006 to: get a state law that recognized trafficking as a crime, increase public education on this modern-day slavery, collect trafficking victims stories, access how state agencies are identifying, tracking and prioritizing this issue, and shed light on how the trafficking industry is a part of the local economy and identify the legitimate businesses that do business with traffickers.

International Instruments

World Conferences:

Vienna Declaration, World Conference on Human Rights

UN Millennium Declaration

Rights of the Child

Declaration of the Rights of the Child

Convention on the Rights of the Child

Convention Concerning the Prohibition and Immediate Action for the Elimination of the Worst Forms of Child Labour (ILO 182)

Optional Protocol to the Conventions on the Rights of the Child on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography


Convention on Consent to Marriage, Minimum Age for Marriage and Registration of Marriages

Recommendations on Consent to Marriage, Minimum Age for Marriage and Registration of Marriages

Slavery-like Practices:

Convention Concerning Forced or Compulsory Labour

Migration for Employment (Revised) (ILO No. 97)

Abolition of Forced Labour

International Convention on Protection of All Migrant Workers and Members of their Families

Trafficking, Smuggling and Migration:

Protocol to Prevent, Supress, and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children, Supplementing the UN Convention Against Transnational Organized Crime

Convention for the Suppression of the Traffic in Persons and of the Exploitation of the Prostitution of Others

UN Convention Against Transnational Organized Crime

Protocol Against Smuggling of Migrants by Land, Sea and Air Supplementing the UN Convention Against Transnational Organized Crime

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Principles and Guidelines on Human Rights and Trafficking

Women's Human Rights:

Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women

Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women

Declaration on the Protection of Women and Children in Emergency and Armed Conflict

Declaration on the Elimination of Violence Against Women

Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action - Fourth World Conference on Women

International Bills of Rights:

Universal Declaration of Human Rights

International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights

Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights

International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights

Definition of Trafficking in Persons

Definitions plague anti-trafficking efforts. Defining trafficking improperly prevents victims from being identified. The most encompassing definition of trafficking is found in Article 3 of U.N. Protocol to Prevent, Suppress, and Punish Trafficking in Persons (2000)

(a) “Trafficking in persons” shall mean the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring or receipt of persons, by means of the threat or use of force or other forms of coercion, of abduction, of fraud, of deception, of the abuse of power or of a position of vulnerability or of the giving or receiving of payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over another person, for the purpose of exploitation. Exploitation shall include, at a minimum, the exploitation of the
prostitution of others or other forms of sexual exploitation, forced labour or services, slavery or practices similar to slavery, servitude or the removal of organs;

(b) The consent of a victim of trafficking in persons to the intended exploitation set forth in subparagraph (a) of this article shall be irrelevant where any of the means set forth in subparagraph (a) have been used;

(c) The recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring or receipt of a child for the purpose of exploitation shall be considered “trafficking in persons” even if this does not involve any of the means set forth in subparagraph (a) of this article;

(d) “Child” shall mean any person under eighteen years of age