New York is creating the nation’s first statewide system of courts to help prostitutes escape a life of exploitation and violence and move on to productive lives, the state’s chief judge said.
“We have come to recognize that the vast majority of children and adults charged with prostitution offenses are commercially exploited or at risk of exploitation,” Judge Jonathan Lippman told attorneys, advocates for women and service providers at a breakfast meeting Wednesday in Manhattan.
“Human trafficking is a crime that inflicts terrible harm on the most vulnerable members of society: victims of abuse, the poor, children, runaways, immigrants,” said Lippman, chief judge of the New York Court of Appeals, the state’s highest court. “It is in every sense a form of modern-day slavery. We cannot tolerate this practice in a civilized society, nor can we afford to let victims of trafficking slip between the cracks of our justice system.”
While human trafficking includes labor trafficking, nearly 80 percent of victims in New York are trafficked for sex, Lippman said.
Most are U.S. citizens, Lippman said.
“It is not just halfway across the globe. It is around the corner from all of us,” he said.
Source: Las Vegas Sun