Albany, NY (March 22, 2013) -The New York State Department of Labor (DOL) today announced a new initiative to partner with businesses across New York State to identify, stop and prevent human trafficking, especially in the labor market.
New York State's 2007 Human Trafficking Law, which criminalized sex and labor trafficking and provided victims with much-needed services, marked the beginning of New York's commitment to end what is widely called modern day slavery.
“Human trafficking is not only a global problem, it’s happening in our own backyard with many victims we may never know about,” said Governor Andrew M. Cuomo. “I encourage all businesses large and small to take part in this free training so we can fight this despicable practice.”
Beginning this spring, DOL staff will partner with businesses and train their employees on identifying human trafficking. This is the first time a state agency has partnered with businesses to fight human trafficking. The Human Trafficking Awareness Training will help businesses understand relevant laws, identify red flags and guide victims to available resources.
“While most human trafficking victims are in service industry professions, upstanding businesses in any sector can be unknowingly caught up because of a contractor or the supply chains they’re using,” said Labor Commissioner Peter M. Rivera. “Under Governor Cuomo’s leadership the bottom line here is New York State government is watching, illegal practices will be stopped and violators will be prosecuted.”
A 2011 Hofstra University study estimated that between 2000 and 2010, there were more than 11,000 survivors of human trafficking in New York State. However, since 2007, only 216 people have been formally certified as human trafficking victims based on evidence by law enforcement.
This weekend, representatives from the Department of Labor’s Division of Immigrant Policies and Affairs will join a human trafficking specialist from the Worker Justice Center of New York in a panel discussion on the topic.
The event, DOL and Your Business: A Partnership to End Human Trafficking, will take place Saturday, March 23, from 10 to 11:30 a.m. in Meeting Room 7 of the Empire State Plaza. This panel is part of the New York State Assembly/Senate Puerto Rican & Hispanic Task Force, Somos el Futuro, Inc.
It’s estimated that 63% of confirmed labor trafficking victims are Latinos.
For more information about Human Trafficking and to schedule a training session for your business, contact the Department of Labor’s Division of Immigrant Policies and Affairs at 212-775-3665 or visit www.labor.ny.gov.