Innovations In The Fight Against Human Trafficking: Perspective and Proposals – Panel 3

Roundtable: Forging New Paths for Our Future

By: Molly Rogowski

 

Panelists:

Denise Brennan, Professor of Anthropology, Georgetown University

Kathleen Kim, Professor of Law, Loyola Law School, Los Angeles

Kate Mogulescu, Supervising Attorney, Trafficking Victims Advocacy Project, Legal Aid Society

Ivy O. Suriyopas, Director of Anti-Trafficking Initiative, Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund

Juhu Thukral, Director of Law and Advocacy, The Opportunity Agenda

 

Moderator:

Melynda Barnhart, Professor of Law, New York Law School

 

This panel discussed the next steps that need to be taken in order to continue the fight against human trafficking. The panelists started their discussion by giving a recap of the day’s events and reviewing some of the topics that came up over and over again throughout the symposium. The first panelist, Denise Brennan, challenged the group by asking everyone to think about the small shifts that can be taken both in practice and perception of what human trafficking is that can bring about change. According to Ms. Brennan, in order to really make a difference, discussions and actions combating human trafficking need to take into account victims who are sometimes left out of the anti-trafficking movement, for example, migrant workers. She spoke about how the movement to gain protections and rights for migrant workers needs to put those who are struggling every day at the very core of that movement. Ms. Brennan stressed the importance of day-to-day organizing and prevention and how we need to push for anti-retaliation protections so that workers can organize and advocate for their rights.… <Read More>


Innovations In The Fight Against Human Trafficking: Perspective and Proposals – Keynote

Lunch Keynote – Putting Survivors First: Innovative Legal Strategies in Human Trafficking Cases

By: Fema Birch

Speaker, Martina Vandenberg, Founder & Director of The Human Trafficking Pro Bono Legal Center, 2012 Fellow of Open Society Institute

 

Trafficking in persons occurs in many forms. The two predominant forms of trafficking are for the purposes of labor and sex. As a prosecutor, the goal is to stop instances of trafficking by convicting those responsible for the crime. Because sometimes the prosecutor’s primary goal is obtaining the conviction and the prosecutor does not represent the victims, the victims can be without a voice. These victims are often displaced and are financially unable to go home. In many cases, the victims face potential immigration consequences. In these matters, victims are unable to afford representation and one is not appointed for them.

Martina Vandenberg stated that trafficking cases should not just be centered on the convictions for the criminal but the victim of the crime. In many instances when a victim is not represented by an attorney the restitution judgment is low and may not be enough to help the victim. Only 60% of trafficking victims receive restitution. Generally restitution is considered when the prosecutor asks for it, and in many cases the prosecutor may not ask for restitution especially in cases when the victims are not represented. On average, the restitution for sex trafficking cases is $213,000 and $46,000 for labor trafficking cases, which must be divided amongst the victims. In U.S.<Read More>


Innovations In The Fight Against Human Trafficking Symposium/ Panel II/Labor: The Continuum of Exploitation

 

By: Cristina Carreno

 

Panelists:

Jaribu Hill, Executive Director of the Mississippi Workers Center for Human Rights

Janie Chaung, Professor of Law at Washington College of Law at American University

Linda Oalican, Executive Director of Damayan Migrant Rights Association and Board Member of the National Domestic Workers Alliance

Shannon Lederer, Director of Immigration Policy at American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations

Moderator:

Tiffany Williams, Coordinator of the Beyond Survival Campaign, National Domestic Workers Alliance

 

The following quote from an article on opendemocracy.net set the tone for this panel discussion:

“Combating human trafficking is a cause that is in need of substantial redefinition. This requires the dissolution of many different models and the promotion of a larger political vision. We have no doubt that human trafficking, forced labor and slavery are all very serious and urgent problems. But they are problems that need to be understood as extreme manifestations of global patterns of injustice, exploitation, discrimination, and inequality, rather than as isolated and deviant exceptions.”

The panelists, four women working in the area of labor and human rights as it relates to trafficking, each brought their unique experiences, interests and expertise to the discussion.

Jaribu Hill discussed what she is seeing and doing in the South around trafficking. She spoke about misconduct of corporations in relation to trafficking, and the need to do more than just shaming the responsible corporations. She discussed the need to regulate and legislate against unsavory corporate behavior.… <Read More>


Supporting Immigrant Worker Safety and Rights

By: Beth Rosner

 Panelists:

From Poverty to Opportunity Symposium Series Part 5

Moderator:

 

This symposium session began with an introduction from Veronica Cruz, who is the Director of the Division of Community Services at the New York State Department of State. Ms. Cruz provided context for the discussion by highlighting the importance of immigrant workers to the national and local economy and the various rights and protections for immigrant workers.

The panel was comprised of four speakers. The first half of the session concerned the legal rights of undocumented workers. The second half of the session dealt with the protections and processes that take place once a worker files a complaint for violation of those rights.

 

Eunice Chang, Workers’ Rights Legal Clinic

The first panelist was Eunice Chang. Ms. Chang works as a Staff Attorney in the Workers’ Rights Legal Clinic at the MinKwon Center for Community Action. The organization provides various services to the Korean and Chinese American communities and others in Flushing, Queens. Ms. Chang explained the various laws that protect immigrant workers by providing an example of a typical client interaction in which an undocumented worker expresses concerns about workplace safety and fair payment.

Ms.… <Read More>


From Poverty to Opportunity Symposium: Promoting Access to Health Care in Hard to Reach Communities

by Sara Nassof

From Poverty to Opportunity Symposium Series Part 4Panelists:

Moderator: Marjorie Cadogan, Executive Deputy Commissioner, New York City Human Resource Administration’s Office of Citywide Health Insurance Access

 

In this session the panelists, Health Care Navigators, discussed the organizations that they represent and their mission to raise awareness about health care. A health care navigator is a person or organization that is trained to assist persons in obtaining and learning about health care options available to them in the Marketplace. All Health Care Navigators who presented on the panel represent organizations that specialize in assisting New Yorkers in enrolling in medical health plans. Moreover, all of the organizations specialize in reaching hard-to-reach populations.

In New York, more than nine million people are currently enrolled in either Medicaid or a private insurance program. Approximately 500,000 of these participants in health insurance are residents of New York City. The panelists discussed the history of health insurance in New York City and how the role of Health Care Navigators was developed. Today, Health Care Navigators help residents of New York City take advantage of available programs and enroll in health insurance.

The panelists all agreed that the best way to get people involved in the discussion of health insurance starts with identifying the needs of the family or individuals, and then following through with these individuals and families to target their needs as they may change with the passage of time.… <Read More>