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City Bar Justice Center Plays Important Role in Assisting Victims of Human Trafficking

Thursday, January 19, 2012

  • Organization: The City Bar Justice Center
  • Source: New York

When 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. 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 to highlight emerging issues with trafficked youth in New York City.

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.
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. “Our trafficked youth clients face a wide range of challenges,” said Laura Matthews-Jolly. “There are several ways in which we envision pro bono attorney involvement and, as our program expands, we hope to continue to develop this involvement.”

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