Tuesday, February 13, 2007

NY: Activists Urge State on Anti-Trafficking Law

Gloria Steinem chairs the anti-trafficking coalition

NEW YORK -- A coalition of women's and human-rights advocates in the United States is pressing New York state legislators to pass a law against human trafficking. Investigators say that traffickers prey on the poor and young in all parts of the world, including East Asia, Africa, the former Soviet Union, Latin America and the United States, where they say New York City is a major port of entry – both for victims trafficked inside the United States and those brought from other countries.

A group of activists say they will protest every week in New York City outside the New York State Supreme Court, until state legislators pass a strong law against human trafficking. “What we need today are modern-day abolitionists,” feminist pioneer Gloria Steinem, who chairs the New York State Anti-Trafficking Coalition, told the crowd of demonstrators at the first protest. Steinem noted that international organizations estimate that four to 12 million people worldwide are victims of human trafficking, including women and children trafficked for sex, and people of all ages used as forced labor.

"Trafficking in people is bigger than it's ever been,” Steinem told a reporter. “Slavery is bigger now than it was in the 1800s, and more profitable. The estimated profits from it are bigger than that from the illegal arms trade. Because of globalization, the Internet, the increased inequity between nations, and between rich and poor, ease of travel -- all of those things have made slavery much easier, more profitable, and much more prevalent."...

READ THE FULL ARTICLE AT VOANews.com

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