17 June 2010

New York Prostitution Bill

New York State Legislature has passed a bill that would let victims of human trafficking clear prostitution charges off their record.

Young women are often times lured or convinced to come to the New York area with promises of summer jobs or permanent work, but they find themselves coerced into prostitution. Many of these young women get arrested, charged with a crime even though they were forced to do the work against their will and released back to the hands of the traffickers.

Sienna Baskin, a staff attorney for the Sex Workers Program at the Urban Justice Center says that this, says this bill is an important remedy for sex workers to move forward and achieve safe and stable lives. Sienna is interviewed by Richard Hake.
"The law allows people, even after they've been convicted, to go back to the criminal court and have their convictions vacated", says Sienna. "So its really helpful to people who were maybe were trafficked a long time ago, and now seeing barriers to getting employment, mainstream work, getting housing, getting immigration status; it allows them to clear up those barriers."