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Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Modern-Slavery News Round-Up

All Hands on Deck: Renewing the Call to Combat Human Trafficking Spet. 25: One year ago today, President Obama announced the Administration’s commitment to lead the fight against human trafficking during a seminal speech at the Clinton Global Initiative Annual Meeting. ...Over the past year, we’ve made great strides and increased our efforts in order to realize the President’s vision. However, we still have so much more to do. The President said in his remarks one year ago, “It ought to concern every person, because it is a debasement of our common humanity. It ought to concern every community, because it tears at our social fabric. It ought to concern every business, because it distorts markets. It ought to concern every nation, because it endangers public health and fuels violence and organized crime. I’m talking about the injustice, the outrage, of human trafficking, which must be called by its true name – modern slavery.”

Michigan: Human trafficking: 19-bill package aims to curb 'modern day slavery' in Michigan, help victims Michigan state Sen. Judy Emmons on Thursday unveiled a 19-bill package intended to crack down on human trafficking and offer help to victims of a crime that many call a form of "modern day slavery." The bipartisan package, to be formally introduced next week, features bills that would provide safe harbor for victims, eliminate the statute of limitations for trafficking offenses, allow victims to sue their captors and enable a prosecutor to utilize wire tapping while building a criminal case.

Florida: Statewide human-trafficking initiative focuses on children A new statewide initiative championed by Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi aims to end human trafficking by encouraging parents and children to discuss the dangers of talking to strangers online. The "From Instant Message to Instant Nightmare" crusade, unveiled Friday, includes billboards, mall displays and bus-shelter posters asking parents and children to educate themselves about sex traffickers who target children, tweens and teens online.

A Bold Plan to Aid Sex-Trafficking Victims As understanding of the cruel dynamics of sex-trafficking has grown in recent years, a consensus has emerged among criminal justice professionals that it makes more sense to treat people charged with prostitution as the exploited and abused victims a vast majority are, rather than as criminals. An important new initiative by New York State’s chief judge, Jonathan Lippman, aims to put that humane insight into practice. A handful of cities across the country, including Baltimore and Phoenix, have specialized courts that deal with sex-trafficking offenses. On Wednesday, Judge Lippman announced the creation of the nation’s first statewide system of specialized criminal courts to handle prostitution-related offenses and make services available to help sex-trafficking victims escape their abusive situations and forge new lives.

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