From the Queens Courier:
An estimated 17,500 foreign nationals become victims of sex trafficking each year in the United States and another 244,000 U.S. citizens are exploited, according to a report by the National Human Trafficking Resource Center.
Queens has gained notoriety as a gateway for this exploitation due to its two international airports and its diversity of cultures.
At Borough Hall on Wednesday, April 7, [Ann] Jawin explained that some community newspapers advertise massage parlors, escort services and spas, which at times have blatant messages. In other cases, women hired as waitresses, nannies and hotel workers end up abused, with their passports withheld.
The CWNY plans to send an informative letter to mainstream and ethnic newspaper publishers along with a request to sign a pledge to refuse ads in print and online that cater to the victimization or exploitation of women.
From the Times Ledger:
“Queens County-based JFK International and LaGuardia airports and the major national highways offer easy entry to the United States, New York City and metropolitan area market,” Karen Siegel, a psychologist who works with women and girls who have been trafficked, said at the meeting last month. “The U.S. Department of Justice designated the I-95 corridor as a major route for human trafficking.”
Jawin said they will ask publishers to sign agreements not to run the ads in the newspapers or on their respective companies’ Web sites. Hollis resident Arnold Gallardo pointed out it was especially important to focus on advertising on Web sites because so many individuals have been able to access victims through the Internet.
After CWNY sends the letters to the publishers, Jawin said they plan to reach out to civic associations, religious organizations and politicians and ask them to urge the newspapers to sign the agreements.
“We want to stop these ads that are derogatory or exploitative of women,” Jawin said.