This issue does not get the attention it deserves. There is a lot more the private sector can do, not only to help individual victims, which is vitally important, but also to raise awareness.
New York, NY (Vocus/PRWEB) March 17, 2011
The International law firm Greenberg Traurig LLP, along with the New York State Anti-Trafficking Coalition, hosted an event on the implementation of New York State’s anti-human trafficking laws held at the New York City office of Greenberg Traurig on March 14. New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman was the keynote speaker.
At the event, William C. Silverman, Greenberg Traurig shareholder and head of the firm’s pro bono program in New York, announced that in conjunction with a new anti-human trafficking initiative, the firm will sponsor a public interest fellow, Laura Mathews-Jolly, to work full time representing victims of human trafficking.
Mathews-Jolly will be joining the City Bar Justice Center's Immigrant Women & Children Project in September 2011, for a two year fellowship through Equal Justice Works. The City Bar Justice Center is the public service arm of the New York City Bar Association. She will provide outreach, legal services, and economic empowerment training to trafficked minors in New York City. She will also train lawyers and service providers to aid in increasing victim identification. The goal of the project is to stabilize the lives of those who have been trafficked into labor and sex industries by building bridges to community based organizations, identifying victims, and then providing them with legal representation in immigration and family matters, education, and employment.
“This issue does not get the attention it deserves,” said Silverman. “There is a lot more the private sector can do, not only to help individual victims, which is vitally important, but also to raise awareness. There is a terrible human cost if we continue to look the other way.”
"This fellowship will help us involve more pro bono law firms in aiding victims of trafficking in the coming year," said Lynn M. Kelly, Executive Director of the City Bar Justice Center.
The New York State Anti-Trafficking Coalition is comprised of more than 60 statewide organizations, including long-time Greenberg Traurig pro bono partner Sanctuary for Families.
Dorchen A. Leidholdt, Director of the Center for Battered Women's Legal Services at Sanctuary for Families, said, “Traffickers and their confederates - including sex industry buyers - prey on the most vulnerable people in New York City - immigrants and inner city women and youth, many with histories of abuse. Stopping these predators necessitates a paradigm shift: arresting and prosecuting pimps, other traffickers, and johns while assisting and empowering their victims.”
Other presenters at the March 14th event included Catherine Douglass, Executive Director of inMotion; Jane Manning, President of NYC-NOW; Lauren Hersh, Sex Trafficking Unit Chief of King’s County District Attorney’s Office; Elizabeth Fildes, Program Director of Human Trafficking Task Force, Erie County Sheriff’s Office; Edward Reilly, Commander of Suffolk County Police Kidnap Investigations Team; Audrey Stone, Chief of Special Prosecutions Division, Westchester County District Attorney’s Office; and Amanda Norejko, Director of Matrimonial and Economic Justice Project, Sanctuary for Families and Senior Policy Advisor and UN Representative of Coalition Against Trafficking in Women.
About Greenberg Traurig, LLP
Greenberg Traurig, LLP is an international, full-service law firm with approximately 1800 attorneys serving clients from more than 30 offices in the United States, Europe and Asia. In the U.S., the firm has more offices than any other among the Top 10 on The National Law Journal’s 2010 NLJ 250. In the U.K., the firm operates as Greenberg Traurig Maher LLP. Greenberg Traurig has a strategic alliance with the independent law firm, Studio Santa Maria in Milan and Rome. The firm was Chambers and Partners' USA Law Firm of the Year in 2007 and among the Top 3 in the International Law Firm of the Year at the 2009 The Lawyer Awards. For additional information, please visit http://www.gtlaw.com.