Tuesday, June 1, 2010
Poster campaign to help stop human trafficking
From the Queens Chronicle:
Human trafficking is described as the recruiting, transporting, selling or buying of people for the purpose of various forms of sexual or labor exploitation.
The city will display posters in the five boroughs on bus shelters through June 13. A new anti-trafficking website can be found at nyc.gov to provide more information.
Deputy Mayor Carol Robles-Roman said human trafficking is one of the fastest growing criminal enterprises in the world, but that the average person doesn’t know how to recognize this form of servitude.
Although human trafficking can be difficult to recognize because it is often kept out of sight, some examples are prostitutes, domestic workers, factory workers, landscapers, restaurant workers and those working in nail salons or janitorial jobs. Victims can be American-born or immigrants.
In Queens, Asian women are especially lured here with the promise of a job or a better way of life. Instead, they end up enslaved, owing their traffickers money, without documentation and kept as prostitutes in brothels, illegal massage parlors or on the street.
Human rights groups in Queens applauded the mayor’s campaign, saying that human trafficking has gone on for too long.
Ann Jawin, founder and chairwoman of the Center for the Women of New York, was elated about the mayor’s campaign. “That’s wonderful,” Jawin said. “It comes at a good time.”
Since February, Jawin’s group has been waging its own battle against sex trafficking by asking Queens newspaper owners to pledge not to accept ads for services that are clearly a front for prostitution.
So far, only Queens Chronicle Publisher Mark Weidler has signed, earning him a Good Guys award from the CWNY on Saturday. He says the Chronicle does not run such ads and will not in the future.
Jawin is continuing to reach out to other Queens papers and if they don’t respond positively, she has vowed to get businesses and libraries to stop distributing them.