Survivor-led Conference in NH Advocates for Victim Protections
On Friday, March 28, University of New Hampshire School of Law hosted a conference led by survivors of human trafficking, calling for strengthening victim protections through state legislation. Cory Smith, Senior Policy Advisor to ATEST and Adjunct Professor at the University, spoke to the elements of the bill, such as permitting victims to vacate convictions related to prostitution and to sue their traffickers in civil actions. To listen to a recording of the interview with New Hampshire Public Radio, click here.
The Fight Against Human Trafficking In NH
By Rick Ganley
The University of New Hampshire School of Law in Concord is the scene Friday for a conference on combating human trafficking. Cory Smith, an Adjunct Professor at the University says human trafficking happens everywhere, including New Hampshire. He will be one of the moderators at today’s event.
This conference comes as legislation is pending in Concord to strengthen protections for victims of human trafficking- let’s define what trafficking is and what this legislation would do.
Sex trafficking is defined as a commercial sex act that’s induced by force, fraud or coercion… labor trafficking is the recruitment, harboring transporting or obtaining a person for labor or services through fraud, force or coercion. The New Hampshire legislation seeks to do is to allow for a civil remedy for victims to sue his or her trafficker for damages… it also eliminates the requirement of coercion for children… and it allows victims to vacate a conviction related to prostitution.
What is the scope of the problem in the U.S.?
The estimate is between 14,500 and 17,500 people are trafficked into the U.S. each year. There’s an estimate that 100,000 children are forced into sex trafficking each year. In the state of New Hampshire, a national hotline has received more than 100 calls and tips for trafficking in the state.
What is the aim of the conference?
This conference is unique in that its lead by trafficking survivors; who knows better how to combat the trafficker, to provide better victim services… there will be speakers from the NH Department of Justice, law enforcement, social workers, and the NH Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence is a partner in this conference.