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New York State Anti-Trafficking Coalition Launches 2007 Campaign to Criminalize Human Trafficking in New York

01/02/2007

MEDIA ADVISORY
January 02, 2007
CONTACT: LAKSHMI ANANTNARAYAN
(212) 586 – 0906, lanant at equality now

After Two Years of Delay, Passage of Law Against Human Trafficking Should Be Top Priority Of The New York Legislature and Spitzer Administration

What: The New York State Anti-Trafficking Coalition will be joined by renowned playwright/activist Eve Ensler and Council Member Gale Brewer at a Press Conference calling on the New York legislature to pass a strong law against human trafficking in New York state as the first priority in the new legislative session starting in January 2007. The Coalition is also calling on Governor Spitzer to make this a top priority to ensure that traffickers are effectively prosecuted and that trafficking victims can find safety and protection in New York.

When: 10:00am on Thursday, January 4, 2007

Where: Equality Now, 250 West 57th Street, Suite 1527, New York, NY 10107

Who: Jessica Neuwirth (President, Equality Now)
Kika Cerpa (Trafficking survivor)
Eve Ensler (Playwright and Founder. V-Day)
Ken Franzblau (Trafficking Campaign Director, Equality Now)
City Council Member Gale Brewer
Jordana Confino, (16 year-old Co-founder and Junior Board Chair, Girls Learn
International, Inc)
Sonia Ossorio (President, National Organization for Women NYC)

The United Nations estimates that 4 million people are trafficked around the world, 80% of whom are women and girls. Although New York is a prominent United States port of entry, transit and destination for trafficking victims, it is not one of the twenty one states in the country that has passed a law against human trafficking. The continued absence of an anti-trafficking law in New York signals a conspicuous failure on the part of the state. In 2005 the New York State Assembly was unable to pass a bill, while the Senate passed a weak bill that would not have effectively addressed the problem. In the 2006 legislative session the New York State Assembly and Senate both passed weak bills that were inadequate responses to the crime of human trafficking. Neither bill was enacted into law. As the new legislative session begins in 2007, the New York State Anti-Trafficking Coalition is urging legislators to make the passage of an anti-trafficking law their highest priority. The Coalition is also calling on Governor Spitzer to play a pro-active role in ending sex trafficking in the state by supporting the swift passage of a strong anti-trafficking law that will effectively prosecute traffickers and help survivors rebuild their lives.

This press conference will also announce the launch of “Albany Watch,” a series of weekly public gatherings organized by anti-trafficking activists from across the state of New York. Prominent New Yorkers like Gloria Steinem will join “Albany Watch.” The public gatherings are intended to monitor the movement in the Assembly and Senate and keep up pressure on its members to take action towards passing a strong law.

The New York State Anti-Trafficking Coalition is a group of leading New York-based organizations that have joined forces to advocate for a strong New York State law to hold traffickers accountable and help victims rebuild their lives. The Advisory Council, chaired by Gloria Steinem, includes Mario Cuomo, Meryl Streep, Linda Fairstein, Eve Ensler, Karenna Gore Schiff, and Deputy Mayor Carol Robles among its members. For more information log on to www.stophumantraffickingny.org