Women trafficked into the sex industry are particularly vulnerable to abuse and face the added threat of criminal prosecution for acts they were forced to commit. Resulting criminal convictions can continue to haunt trafficking survivors, preventing them from rebuilding their lives. A novel New York law passed in 2010 helps remedy this harm by allowing survivors to vacate these convictions.
CUNY Law School's new report Clearing the Slate: Seeking Effective Remedies for Criminalized Trafficking Victims, from the International Women's Human Rights Clinic, looks at the problem of criminalization of trafficking victims and New York's experience with the vacatur law in order to identify best practices for New York and other states. This event will examine the factors that lead to criminalization of trafficking victims, identify the successes and challenges of implementing the law, and discuss other reforms to help trafficking survivors.
New York State Assembly Member Richard Gottfried, sponsor of the vacatur law, will give introductory remarks.
The Honorable Toko Serita ('89), presiding judge, Queens County Human Trafficking Intervention Court
Sienna Baskin ('07), co-director of the Sex Workers Project of the Urban Justice Center
Kate Mogulescu, supervising attorney at the Trafficking Victims Advocacy Project at the Legal Aid Society
John Temple, attorney-in-charge at the Human Trafficking Program at the New York County District Attorney's Office