The topic of sex trafficking is many times pushed under the rug publicly due to its sensitive nature. However, this issue came to life on October 10, when the Asian American Bar Association of New York hosted a panel titled “Sex Trafficking: Criminal, Immigration and Social Perspectives” at Brooklyn Law School. Panelists included attorneys who focus on immigrant women and human trafficking, a judge and the director of external affairs at a local NYC safe house called Restore NYC, and focused on how their professions intertwined to help the victims. Themes of the need for integrated approaches and coordinated responses were brought to light. I learned that sex trafficking is a nuanced and complex problem that requires collaboration from many perspectives to confront. The panelists pointed out that there is much work to be done: raising awareness, creating more beds like those at Restore for victims of sex trafficking, revising trafficking laws and reducing demand for services by increasing penalties for offenders.
How will you respond to the growing issue of sex trafficking in New York City?
By Liza Sohn, Co-chair, Women’s Committee, Asian American Bar Association of New York (AABANY)