On Wednesday, January 26th, the City Club of Cleveland conducted the annual “Margaret W. Wong & Associates, LLC Endowed Forum on Foreign-Born Individuals of Distinction.”
Mr. Gordon Landefeld, Marketing Manager at Margaret W. Wong & Associates, LLC, introduced the forum which was titled “Human Trafficking: The Intersection of Race, Gender, and the Law”; a very appropriate topic for a forum named after Ms. Margaret W. Wong & Associates, LLC since many victims of human trafficking (i.e. both sex and labor) are people who have immigrated to the United States.
On this occasion, the format of the program was a discussion panel discussion wherein Professor Milena Sterio of the Cleveland-Marshall College of Law acted as moderator and Ms. Kirsti Mouncey, President and CEO, of the Collaborative to End Human Trafficking, and Ms. Yasmin Vafa, Executive Director of Rights4Girls, and herself foreign-born.
During the discussion, the progress that our society has made in terms of identification and treatment of sex human trafficking victims was examined although it was emphasized that a lot more needs to be done in terms of providing the necessary resources and formation of productive partnerships between agencies both public and private.
Although sex trafficking affects both men and women of all backgrounds, we were glad when it was pointed out that a disproportionate number of victims were women of color, a fact that must be taken into consideration when addressing the problem.
Due to time constraints, the number of victims who are foreign-born was not mentioned so we would like to refer our readers to an ACLU report that extensively examines this issue, and it can be found at https://www.aclu.org/other/human-trafficking-modern-enslavement-immigrant-women-united-states