August 16, 2013 |
New Jersey is one of the two best states in the country when it comes to laws fighting human trafficking, according to a new report from a national advocacy organization. Pennsylvania, while lagging, showed improvement, according to the Polaris Project's 2013 State Ratings on Human Trafficking Laws, released Wednesday during a conference call. New Jersey, along with Washington state, received perfect scores from the Washington-based anti-trafficking organization. "Over the past year, the momentum among advocates, legislators, and state officials to pass robust laws combating human trafficking has been inspiring," said Bradley Myles, the Polaris Project CEO. This is the fourth year that the group has rated all 50 states and the District of Columbia, using 10 categories of laws that it says are "critical to establishing a basic legal framework that combats human trafficking, punishes traffickers, and supports survivors.
October 27, 2013 |
TRENTON When New Jersey hosts the Super Bowl in February, the football championship won't be so super for one group of people - victims of human trafficking. That's why about 200 people who work with victims gathered in Trenton on Friday to talk about how to prevent trafficking and identify and help victims. Human trafficking is gaining attention in Pennsylvania, as well. Also on Friday, U.S. Sen. Robert P. Casey Jr. (D., Pa.), sent a letter to the chairman of a Senate committee that is considering a bill to assist the fight against human trafficking.
October 15, 2014
ISSUE | BREAST CANCER Direct aid With the national observance of breast cancer awareness this month, I suggest nonprofit cancer organizations such as the Susan G. Komen Foundation, American Cancer Society, and others consider putting aside a portion of their donations to help support individuals while they are sick with expenses such as rent, mortgages, utilities, and food. I've known several women recently diagnosed with breast cancer who have been treated and are recovering.
July 17, 2012 |
A Ukrainian national was sentenced Monday to life in prison for leading a human-trafficking ring based in Philadelphia that lured its victims into forced labor, cleaning large chain stores such as Wal-Mart and Target. Omelyan Botsvynyuk, 52, was found guilty in October of conspiracy and extortion. Stepan Botsvynyuk, 38, his brother, was found guilty of conspiracy at the same trial and faces a possible 20 years in prison at his sentencing, scheduled for Tuesday. Two other brothers, Mykhaylo and Dmytro, also have been indicted in the case and are awaiting extradition from Canada.
February 6, 2012
SLAVERY IS alive and well. Not the old-time slavery - that is rare, although it exists in a few backwaters of the world. I'm talking about neo-slavery, which goes by the name of "human trafficking," and its reach is global. A lot of people throw the term around, but many don't understand it. Under federal law, at least one of three elements must exist to be considered "human trafficking": force, fraud, coercion. Without at least one of those, it may be exploitation or cruelty, but it is not "human trafficking" under U.S. law. These and other points were put on the table Saturday at the Bryn Mawr Film Institute during a film screening/panel hosted by state Sen. Daylin Leach, a Democrat representing parts of Montgomery and Delaware counties who is best known for having a sense of humor and a reliably liberal voting record.
January 30, 2014 |
On a warm November afternoon in northern Uganda, Aida Marcial heard that the serial rapist she had been investigating had been spotted downtown, and drove there with local police. She video-recorded the arrest and his subsequent confession to 10 counts of sexual assault; enough evidence, she said, to put him away for a long time even by Uganda's less stringent judicial standards. In talking about the case, the first image Marcial dug up during an interview this month is of one of the victims, age 9, smiling at the camera with her thin arms wrapped around Marcial.
April 28, 2004
Efforts to end human trafficking applauded On behalf of Amnesty International's 6,500 members in the Greater Philadelphia area, I applaud federal efforts to address the widespread problem of human trafficking, using Philadelphia as the first site of a new program ("Taking aim at human trafficking," April 21). Human trafficking for sexual exploitation is a serious problem worldwide. Women are often recruited under false pretenses. They are coerced, transported and bought and sold for a range of exploitative purposes, including sex tourism and forced marriage.
July 3, 2014 |
CONVICTED sex trafficker Robert Spence will spend more years in prison than his teenage victim had been alive when he lured her and pimped her for cash, a Philadelphia judge ruled yesterday. After denying a motion to delay the sentencing in Spence's case, which dragged on for five years after his 2009 arrest, Judge Robert P. Coleman slapped the 46-year-old pimp with a sentence of 17 to 34 years for crimes including human trafficking, sexual exploitation of children and promoting prostitution of a minor.
February 23, 2014 |
NORRISTOWN The Montgomery County District Attorney's Office and two police departments are teaming to investigate sex trafficking and prostitution in hotels and motels in King of Prussia and Montgomeryville, authorities announced Friday. "Public safety and quality-of-life issues relating to the illegal commercial sex trade and human trafficking are of growing concern in Montgomery County," District Attorney Risa Vetri Ferman said in a statement. The concern over sex trafficking and prostitution rings is so great, Ferman said, that she, Upper Merion Police Chief Thomas Nolan, and Montgomery Township Chief Scott Bendig took the unusual step of publicizing the operation before it starts to educate the public and hotel workers about the damage to people and communities these activities cause, and to dissuade those who might use the hotels for illegal activities.
August 21, 2013
Authorities in Pennsylvania and 27 other states are acting with exceptional cruelty in charging young victims of human trafficking with prostitution and sending them to juvenile detention centers. Such was the case of a 17-year-old Bucks County girl. Soon after being freed from the sex trade last month, she was confined in a juvenile jail. Fortunately, within a few days, she was transferred to another facility where she could get appropriate therapeutic services. Locking up young victims who can't be considered consenting participants, even if only for a short time, compounds their trauma.