Human Traffic Watch

Posts Tagged ‘new york’

NY state shifts judicial approach to prostitution

In Forced Prostitution, Human Trafficking, Prostitution, Sex Trafficking on October 2, 2013 at 1:09 pm

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

Cuomo Woman’s Equality Act plan includes human trafficking agenda

In Awareness, Human Trafficking, Sex Trafficking on July 15, 2013 at 1:57 pm

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s plan to crack down on human trafficking, submitted to the state Legislature as part of his Women’s Equality Act, comes as New York lags behind other states in attacking the problem.

Experts say thousands of people are trafficked every year in New York — as sex slaves or forced farm workers. Yet relatively few arrests are made, largely because of legal obstacles and the victims’ fear of coming forward.

“In New York, as far as human trafficking is concerned, we’re where the domestic violence movement was 25 to 30 years ago,” said Emily Amick, a lawyer with Sanctuary for New York Families, an advocacy group.

Cuomo’s proposed legislation would toughen penalties, making trafficking a Class B felony — a violent crime with a minimum sentence of 5 years. Offenders now face as little as a year in jail.

“Governor Cuomo’s legislation recognizes the incredible violence of human trafficking,” Amick said.

Under the measure, sex slaves arrested in connection with prostitution could cite trafficking as a defense — a move advocates believe could lead to more investigations of human slavery rings. Prosecutors would also no longer have to prove juveniles were coerced or tricked into slavery.

Source: Newsday

Stop Prosecuting Victims of Human Trafficking

In Child Sex Trafficking, Forced Prostitution, Human Trafficking, Sex Trafficking on July 13, 2013 at 10:33 am

Target: New York lawmakers

Goal: Protect minors who are victims of human trafficking from being prosecuted

New York lawmakers are voting on a bill that would include raising the age of prosecution for someone who was coerced into prostitution to 18. This would be a large step in ensuring that the rights of minors involved in prostitution are given the respect, resources, and help that they need rather than being punished.

While the age of consent for sexual activities is 18, it doesn’t make sense to prosecute minors for prostitution. If minors are not considered mature enough to consent to sex, they should be regarded as victims in cases of prostitution. Stella Marr, a former victim of trafficking described the necessity of help rather than prosecution in the case of minors involved in trafficking. She explains that, “Traffickers are violent, they threaten you, they threaten your family. I was manipulated, threatened, and I felt I had no other choice.”

If the bill passes, New York will become only the fifth state to protect minors against being prosecuted for prostitution. The incredibly small number of states that provide protection for minors who are victims of trafficking indicates the necessity of this bill and others like it being passed. The hopelessness that comes with being trapped in a situation like many of these minors are in can be significantly helped if they know that they have law officials protecting them rather than prosecuting them as criminals.

Source: Force Change

Giving back choice: why New York’s sex trafficking law needs to change

In Child Sex Trafficking, Human Trafficking, Sex Trafficking on June 20, 2013 at 9:08 am

Three months ago, Ruth came into my life. Sixteen years and two weeks old, Ruth is spunky and smart. She loves Hello Kitty and iced coffee, listens to Alicia Keys and spent days planning her Sweet 16 outfit. Ruth wants to build schools in Africa. Her contagious smile lights up a room. But, for years, the smile I have come to love was hidden.

Ruth is a sexually exploited child. At 12, after being raped by her mother’s boyfriend, she met an older man who promised to love and care for her. Instead, he brutally beat her, repeatedly raped her and sold her for sex more times than she could count.

There is a common misconception that girls like Ruth choose to enter prostitution. This could not be further from the truth. Sex traffickers like Ruth’s “ex-boyfriend” prey on the vulnerable for financial gain. They provide girls and women with the “love” they are yearning for and through coercion and manipulation force them to make them money through prostitution.

Source: New Statesmen

Brianna, a victim of human trafficking, speaks at Women’s Equality event

In Awareness, Child Sex Trafficking, Forced Prostitution, Human Trafficking, Sex Trafficking on June 10, 2013 at 4:15 pm

Brianna, a human trafficking victim, shares her story at Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s event Tuesday, June 4. Cuomo unveiled his Women’s Equality Act, which includes tougher human trafficking laws. (Video provided by Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office.)


Sex-trafficking operations expand outside of Queens into New York City suburbs

In Human Trafficking, Sex Trafficking on May 19, 2013 at 11:24 am

Prosecutors say federal agents raided four brothels in New York and arrested 13 people in an alleged sex trafficking and prostitution ring dating back to 2008.

They run clandestine brothels in vinyl-sided homes in the Hudson Valley and makeshift bordellos on New Jersey farms, coercing girlfriends and even wives into prostitution.

And they’re all from the same town in Mexico.

The sex trafficking route from Tenancingo in Mexico’s Tlaxcala state once led straight to Jackson Heights, Queens — but now stretches far beyond the city’s boundaries, an extensive Daily News investigation shows.

The recent indictment of brothers Isaias and Bonifacio Flores-Mendez — the latest alleged pimps who hail from the town dubbed the “world capital of sex trafficking” by U.S. government officials — shows just how far the vicious Queens-based crews have expanded.

Read more:

New York-New Jersey Prostitution Ring Forced Women To Have Sex 25 Times A Day, Says Report

In Forced Prostitution, Human Trafficking, Prostitution, Sex Trafficking on May 3, 2013 at 12:34 pm

The young Mexican women were driven to rural New Jersey, U.S. authorities said, where their handlers used threats to make them have sex with 25 farmworkers a day. Or they were confined to dingy brothels in the New York City area that advertised their services with “chica cards,” business cards passed out on street corners to attract customers. They were paid very little, or nothing at all.

Their ordeal was detailed in a criminal complaint charging 13 people with smuggling dozens into the United States and forcing them into prostitution. Some of the defendants were to appear Wednesday in federal court in Manhattan to face multiple counts including sex trafficking and interstate transportation for prostitution.

The ring “lured their unsuspecting victims to the United States and then consigned them to a living hell,” U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said in a statement.

The investigation was among several aimed at “blockading the repugnant sex trafficking corridor” used to exploit victims from Tenancingo, Mexico, said James Hayes, head of Immigration and Customs Enforcement in New York.

Source: Huffington Post

Pimp pleads guilty to sex trafficking

In Forced Prostitution, Human Trafficking, Sex Trafficking on April 14, 2013 at 4:07 pm

A New York pimp plead guilty Monday in a Baltimore courtroom to conspiracy to commit sex trafficking.

Charles Anderson “Yowzer”  and a co-conspirator forced women between the ages of 19 and 28 into prostitution. The men trolled websites pretending to be potential clients with the intent to force the girls to work as prostitutes.  They targeted women who appeared to be working alone, without the oversight of a pimp.

According to Anderson’s plea agreement, he locked women in a bedroom in his Brooklyn apartment,  forced them  to perform sex acts and physically assaulted them on numerous occasions.

On one occasion in the spring of 2010, his co-conspirator returned to the apartment with a prostitute who had been brought there against her will, while at least two additional women were already detained against their will in the bedroom. Anderson had agreed to monitor the captives while his co-conspirator went to Maryland to track down a woman who escaped.

Anderson played a role in hunting down women who fled from prostitution. He was also aware that his co-conspirator had two gun in the apartment, a .9mm pistol and a larger sub-machine gun, along with corresponding ammunition.

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NY man accused of running human trafficking ring

In Human Trafficking on April 8, 2013 at 3:51 pm

A 57-year-old New York man is accused of operating a human trafficking ring.

Police said Alexander Adams III was arrested after officers found more than $10,000 worth of cocaine, heroin and pills at his home in Newburgh and other locations.

The activities took place in New Windsor and Newburgh, about 70 miles north of New York City.

Police said at least three female victims were subject to physical and sexual abuse in connection with the trafficking ring

Adams faces charges including sex trafficking, rape and criminal possession of a weapon. Police also confiscated $75,000.

Source: Utica OD

City releases new anti-sex trafficking video for cabbies

In Awareness, Forced Prostitution, Human Trafficking, Prostitution, Sex Trafficking on January 5, 2013 at 11:33 am

Hookers need a ride, too!

City cabbies will now learn that it’s OK to pick up a prostitute — as a passenger, that is.

Taxi officials yesterday released an anti-sex-trafficking video — mandatory viewing for all cabbies — that explains when it is and is not OK to transport a working girl.

Picking up street walkers is fine, but driving helpless women around for pimps is not, the video explains.

“It is illegal to refuse a fare based upon a person’s appearance or gender,” reads the presentation, believed to be the first of its kind in the United States.

The nine-minute video was created after the City Council approved an anti-sex-trafficking bill, passed after a father and son were charged in April with using six livery drivers to deliver hookers to johns, some of whom enjoyed sex acts for $200 to $500 in the back seats of the vehicles.

Source: NY Post

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