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Emerging Issues with Trafficked Youth

by CBJC Staff January 12, 2012

The City Bar Justice Center’s Immigrant Women and Children Project, together with Greenberg Traurig and the New York Anti-Trafficking Network, hosted a panel discussion on National Human Trafficking Awareness Day, January 11, to highlight emerging issues with trafficked youth in New York City.

The discussion was moderated by Suzanne Tomatore, Director of the Immigrant Women and Children Project at the City Bar Justice Center. Featured speakers included Christa Stewart, Coordinator of Human Trafficking Programming and Supervisor of the Newcomer Transition Unit at the NYS Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance; Laura Matthews-Jolly, Equal Justice Works Fellow at the Immigrant Women and Children Project at the City Bar Justice Center; Jayne Bigelsen, Director of Anti-Human Trafficking Initiatives at Covenant House International; and Martina Vandenberg, Open Society Fellow.

The audience included many people from law firms, non-profit organizations, and both federal and NY state government. Speakers discussed a range of issues, including unmet legal needs, recent trends in trafficked youth cases, the role of service providers, and ways pro bono attorneys can address them.

Trafficking panel
From left: Suzanne Tomatore, Christa Stewart, Laura Matthews-Jolly, Jayne Bigelsen, Martina Vandenberg

January 11th was designated National Human Trafficking Awareness Day by the U.S. Senate in 2007. The resolution was passed with the intention of raising awareness of, and opposition to, human trafficking. Additionally, President Obama has proclaimed January to be National Human Trafficking Awareness Month. In his White House Presidential Proclamation, he stated, “Throughout the month of January, we highlight the many fronts in the ongoing battle for civil rights—including the efforts of our Federal agencies; State, local, and tribal law enforcement partners; international partners; nonprofit social service providers; private industry and nongovernmental organizations around the world who are working to end human trafficking.”

Thus, throughout the month of January, Americans are urged to educate themselves about the forms, signs, and consequences of human trafficking and observe the month with appropriate programs and activities.


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