US trafficking law has led to more awareness of slavery

November 21, 2010 § Leave a comment

Carmen Maquilon never expected she’d be on the frontlines of fighting crime.   Her specialty: human trafficking.   Her task: advocating on behalf of trafficking victims and their families in a battle to combat modern-day slavery – considered the fastest growing criminal activity in the world.   As director of immigrant services at Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Rockville Centre, N.Y., Maquilon, a native of Colombia, and her staff have worked with dozens of trafficking victims since 2003. Their first big case came in 2004 after a raid on a Long Island factory uncovered 60 Peruvians working under grueling conditions and with little hope of escaping.   “It turned into 125 because of the family members and others who came forward,” Maquilon told Catholic News Service during a break in a training program on the needs of crime victims in Washington Nov. 17.   Maquilon’s office faced the daunting task of finding housing, providing counseling and ushering the Peruvians through legal proceedings so they could remain in the United States. Fortunately, she said, her agency had a useful tool on its side: the highly regarded Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000.   (Catholic News Service)

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