PREPARATORYWORK with Community Groups in NYC and Washington DC: An important part of my work this summer is to exchange information with community groups in the US on the issue of human trafficking.
Last Monday morning, I ran through the rain to a Starbucks on Upper West Side Manhattan to make a last minute meeting with Iain, the AP director (who I was meeting for the first time), and representatives from the organization Africans in America. This group is led by Beatrice, a Nigerian woman who is herself a survivor of trafficking, and Bonaventure, her Nigerian husband and the person who helped her to escape, survive, and prosecute, ultimately convicting, her traffickers.
They told me and Iain about a 67 year-old Nigerian woman who was trapped in a basement for 13 years, kept as a slave in NYC.
Iain explained to Beatrice and Bonaventure, and to me, that AP facilitates and supports the work that organizations like theirs are doing. We discussed how my work with TAMPEP in Italy can serve to facilitate a network of support and information exchange between the three continents—US, Europe and Africa—a very exciting prospect.
In New York, I also met with Natalia at The Door to discuss our information exchange. The Door is an amazing and unique organization in NYC that provides comprehensive services, free of charge, to youth under 21 years of age. Natalia runs their Human Trafficking project.
My experience working with TAMPEP this summer and the subsequent understanding I will gain of Italy’s effective response to the problem of human trafficking, will inform practices at The Door. The goal is to communicate to them a workable model that they can implement. If we get it right, our work will really increase the number of young trafficking victims they can reach and serve.
Upon arriving in Washington DC this week, I met with Noreen at Polaris Project. This is the third community group I will be exchanging information with. Polaris Project is an expert agency, dedicated to combating human trafficking, with offices in cities through the US and in Japan.
Noreen is heading the establishment of a Polaris UK-chapter. I will be collecting information on Italy’s policies, TAMPEP’s work, and the trafficking situation in general, to provide Polaris with an even clearer understanding of the global problem and how they may also implement some of Italy’s exemplary strategies. This was a very good conversation, informative for all of us and it got me really charged up about what I will be doing this summer.
Posted By Anya Gorovets (Italy)
Posted May 10th, 2006