The Peace & Social Action Committee (PSAC) of Flushing Meeting invites you to participate in a roundtable discussion on the impact of human trafficking in our community and how we can address this form of modern-day slavery on Sunday, April 14, 12:30pm, at our historic meetinghouse located at 137-16 Northern Boulevard in Flushing NY 11354.
Our special guest speaker will be Shandra Woworuntu, who escaped from human traffickers in 2001 and later founded Mentari, an organization that empowers human trafficking survivors to be able to reintegrate into our community and live independently.
Shandra Woworuntu will be joined by a representative from The Partnership for the Eradication of Human Trafficking (affiliated with the United Nations Association, Southern New York Division); Lima James, MSW, Education & Development Manager for Lifeway Network; and, local community advocates, including Maya Morena, undocumented immigrant from Honduras, domestic violence survivor, and sex worker.
What is Human Trafficking?
Human trafficking is defined in the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons as “the recruitment, transport, transfer, harbouring or receipt of a person by such means as threat or use of force or other forms of coercion, abduction, fraud or deception for the purpose of exploitation.”
The definition of trafficking consists of three core elements:
1) The action of trafficking which means the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harboring or receipt of persons
2) The means of trafficking which includes threat of or use of force, deception, coercion, abuse of power or position of vulnerability
3) The purpose of trafficking which is always exploitation. In the words of the Trafficking Protocol, article 3 “exploitation shall include, at a minimum, the exploitation of the prostitution of others or other forms of sexual exploitation, forced labor or services, slavery or practices similar to slavery, servitude or the removal of organs
Human trafficking affects us all.
Human trafficking is “one of the great human rights causes of our time. It ought to concern every person, because it’s a debasement of our common humanity. It ought to concern every community, because it tears at the social fabric. It ought to concern every business, because it distorts markets. It ought to concern every nation, because it endangers public health and fuels violence and organized crime. I’m talking about the injustice, the outrage, of human trafficking, which must be called by its true name—modern slavery.”
– President Barack Obama
Sex trafficking thrives in this economy because it is a low-risk endeavor with high-earnings potential and a low barrier to entry.
According to the United Nations, “trafficking in persons is a serious crime and a grave violation of human rights. Every year, thousands of men, women and children fall into the hands of traffickers, in their own countries and abroad. Almost every country in the world is affected by trafficking, whether as a country of origin, transit or destination for victims. UNODC, as guardian of the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime (UNTOC) and the Protocols thereto, assists States in their efforts to implement the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons (Trafficking in Persons Protocol).”
From the physical abuse and torture of victims to the psychological and emotional trauma, to the economic and political implications of unabated crime, the impact on individuals and society is clearly destructive and unacceptable. Trafficking in persons directly challenges the development of stable, more prosperous societies, and works strongly against the reconciliation of political interests with humanitarian and human rights obligations. Trafficking-related crimes have created a cumulative threat to global peace, security and stability and have shaped political, social and economic responses at both national and global levels.
For more information, visit the United Nations: