Human Traffic Watch

Letter to the Editor: Victims of Human Trafficking

In Human Trafficking on October 15, 2012 at 4:26 pm

To Combat ‘Modern Slavery’ ” (editorial, Oct. 2) rightly stresses the need for government policies that rigorously break the demand for forced labor and help human trafficking victims.

The legal community also has a key role to play, by changing the way it looks at victims, some as young as 10.

The American Bar Association is working to ensure that law enforcement officials are trained to better identify victims so they can help instead of punish.

Two bright spots in this effort are the Illinois Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office and the New York Legal Aid Society, where legal and social service entities team up in their efforts.

Human traffickers prey on the vulnerabilities of their victims and count on police officers, prosecutors, judges and public defenders’ lack of experience in identifying and confronting modern-day slavery. It is time to turn the tables on the perpetrators and show the victims that they deserve justice, and a second chance.

LAUREL BELLOWS
President, American Bar Association

Chicago, Oct. 3, 2012

Source: New York Times

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