A client sitting across from an attorney may be charged with prostitution or drug dealing. What the attorney may not realize is the client is both a crime suspect and a crime victim. As a victim of human trafficking, she was coerced into the illegal activity.
Human trafficking victims also can be household nannies, landscapers, restaurant workers and others forced to work in dangerous conditions and for substandard wages. Thousands of New Yorkers are exploited by human trafficking.
To educate attorneys about identifying potential victims and bring greater awareness to human trafficking, the New York State Bar Association is offering a continuing legal education program on March 25 at the state bar headquarters in Albany, which will be available by webcast across the country.
“As attorneys, we can play a critical role in ridding society of human trafficking, which has been likened to modern-day slavery” said President Glenn Lau-Kee of New York City (Kee & Lau-Kee). “Our program will arm attorneys with tools to identify and best represent victims, helping to end this horrendous practice.”
In 2013, after a year-long study, the bar association approved a report prepared by its Special Committee on Human Trafficking. It examines human trafficking in New York state, evaluates existing state laws and recommends solutions.
Panelists on the “Human Trafficking in New York State: Legal Issues and Advocating for the Victim,” program will discuss how to recognize warning signs and offer advice on competently representing the victims.
The program, which includes 2.5 MCLE credits, will be presented live and as a webcast from noon to 2:30 p.m. and available live as a webcast. It is free to members and $50 for nonmembers. Newly admitted attorneys must attend the program in Albany to qualify for MCLE credit; however, they may wish to view the webcast for informational purposes.
To register online, go to www.nysba.org/HumanTraffickingCLE.