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"Understanding Human Trafficking" Series

are honored to present

"Understanding Human Trafficking:

Common-Sense Legal Reforms"

Series Overview

Please join the Connecticut Bar Foundation, Connecticut Bar Association’s Committee on Human Trafficking, and Quinnipiac’s Human Trafficking Prevention Project for our series, “Understanding Human Trafficking.”  The series explores the interactions between trafficking victims and the legal system—starting with the criminal justice system—and delves into ongoing debates at the state and federal level about what reforms are needed to assist victims in escaping trafficking, in rebuilding their lives after they have escaped, and in preventing trafficking in the first instance.

Using force, fraud, and coercion, traffickers compel their victims to commit a range of illegal acts and then threaten to expose them to criminal prosecution. Victims are regularly arrested and prosecuted for a range of crimes resulting from their trafficking. Even years after they escape their traffickers, their criminal histories continue to haunt them, limiting access to employment, housing, education, and other areas of civic life. 

 

UPCOMING EVENTS
 


PAST EVENTS

Hidden in Plain Sight: The Faces of Labor Trafficking in Connecticut

SEPTEMBER 24, 2021, 12:00 PM TO 2:00 PM (EASTERN DAYLIGHT TIME)

The Connecticut Bar Foundation, Connecticut Bar Association’s Committee on Human Trafficking, and Quinnipiac’s Human Trafficking Prevention Project presented the fourth panel in our series, “Understanding Human Trafficking.”

When Americans think about human trafficking, they often focus on sex trafficking.  And yet, experts estimate that victims of labor trafficking—i.e. forced labor—account for roughly two-thirds of all trafficking victims worldwide.  Most Americans assume that labor trafficking happens mostly abroad, in Asia, Africa, or Latin America.  For this and other related reasons, labor trafficking is woefully under-reported and under-prosecuted in the U.S., and around the world.

To explore what forms labor trafficking takes in Connecticut and the region, we invited three legal advocates, each with a unique perspective on labor trafficking and the people trapped by it.  Drawing on their work with victims, and their expertise bringing legal cases on behalf of these individuals, our panelists shed light on what labor trafficking looks like in Connecticut and surrounding states—from the migrant farmworkers who pick our crops, to the domestic workers who maintain our households, from the unaccompanied children crossing the border, to the immigrant spouses trapped in abusive marriages, and the workers who have helped build our nation.  Panelists also discussed how our labor and immigration laws impact labor trafficking, and the fine line between labor exploitation and labor trafficking.

Our panel featured experts who work with survivors of various forms of labor trafficking, including:

MODERATOR

PRESENTER

SPEAKERS

The Movement to End Child Marriage: Where Does Connecticut Stand?

April 23, 2021, 12:00 PM TO 2:00 PM (EASTERN DAYLIGHT TIME)

Anti-trafficking advocates include “forced marriage” as a form of human trafficking. The International Labour Organization estimates that over 15 million people worldwide find themselves in forced marriages. Child marriage—which overwhelmingly involves girls—is a subset of forced marriage associated with the greatest risk for abuse.

But to what extent is child marriage a problem in the U.S. and, more specifically, in Connecticut? Between 2000 and 2015, over 200,000 minors were married in the U.S.  Starting in 2018, four states have enacted total bans on child marriage, notwithstanding opposition from those who have argued that such bans represent an unwarranted intrusion on the fundamental right to marry. In 2017, Connecticut enacted a partial ban, allowing minors between the ages of 16 and 18 to marry with judicial approval based on a petition by a parent or guardian. Proposals to enact a complete ban on child marriage in Connecticut have thus far failed.

Our panel—The Movement to End Child Marriage: Where Does Connecticut Stand?—features a range of experts:

Moderator

Speakers

Resource Materials


Stories from the Underground: How Trafficking Survivors Experience the Criminal Justice System

FEBRUARY 19, 2021, 12:00 PM TO 2:00 PM (EASTERN STANDARD TIME)

The second panel in the series highlighted the stories of two trafficking survivors as they struggled to navigate the criminal justice system in their respective states.  The panel explored the obstacles that trafficking victims face as they interact with the criminal justice system, moving from arrest to prosecution and conviction, and then to criminal record relief, including applications for pardons and vacatur.

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Speakers

 

 

Fighting Human Trafficking by Decriminalizing Victims: Expanding Connecticut's Vacatur Laws

JANUARY 8, 2021, 12:00 PM TO 2:00 PM (EASTERN STANDARD TIME)

The inaugural panel began the series with a look at how expanding vacatur laws -- allowing victims of human trafficking in Connecticut to apply to "vacate," or set-aside, their criminal convictions -- can help to decriminalize trafficking survivors and enable them to re-join their communities as full members.

This panel featured a range of experts: 

Moderator

Speakers

Resource Materials

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