By Dan Kittay
Without help, human trafficking victims face a very short life span.
Young women who are forced into
prostitution by human traffickers are
“predicted to survive for seven years
after they start work,” said Peggy
Kern, author of “Little Peach,” a novel
about one such woman.
After that time, many “die from sexually transmitted diseases, drug addiction, or homicide,” Kern said.
Kern opened the Criminal Justice
Section’s first of two programs at
Annual Meeting dedicated to the issue
of human trafficking. She described the
trafficking victims she’d met while
researching her book as “combat veterans” and urged attorneys, prosecutors
and judges not to hold crimes related
to drug addictions, prostitution or
resisting arrest against them.
“They are lucky to be alive,” she said.
Panelists for the first program,
“Identifying Human Trafficking Cases:
Representing Victims and Traffickers,”
offered different perspectives based on
their roles, but all agreed with Carl
Berry of Kingston, Jamaica, deputy
superintendent of police for the
Jamaica Constabulary Force: “We must
Berry quoted U.S. State Department
statistics indicating that, worldwide,
“there are more slaves today than at
any other time in history,” with an esti-
mated 27 million people enslaved.