“Ukraine crisis creates new trafficking risks.” 

– United Nations (UN) High Commissioner for Refugees

Why does war drive human trafficking?  We have often read that refugees and marginalized groups are at increased risk of human trafficking. Sadly, Russia’s brutal invasion of its neighbor is providing a vivid example as over 5 millions Ukrainian civilians flee their country.  The vast majority are women and children who are facing grave danger of death, physical harm and severe emotional distress amidst the destruction of their homes.  The UN Children’s Fund reported that over 4.3 million children (over half of the country’s total 7.5 million child population) were already displaced as of March 2022. 

Desperate for basic needs such as safety, food and medical supplies, this population is extremely vulnerable to predators who seek to profit from their circumstances.  To someone desperate, scared and alone, promises of transportation, accommodation, employment or other assistance – particularly from someone claiming to be an aid worker – are very convincing.  We will see the consequences of this abuse for years to come. 

While the enormity and darkness of human trafficking may seem overwhelming, there is another way.  There can be light and hope.  There is a way to make a difference.  ALIGHT Executive Director Marianna Kosharovsky, who is of Ukrainian origin, shares her story and how people can support Ukrainian efforts in a recent Colorado Women’s Bar Association blog post “The Ukraine War is Personal.”

ALIGHT continues our work to help survivors of all types of trafficking, national origins and immigration statuses to move beyond the horrors of exploitation toward stable lives.  Read about our expansion to Los Angeles and new partnership with the full-service law firm Moye White below.  Join us for upcoming events.  Continue to spread the word about ALIGHT – here are more Ways to Get Involved.  

In Full Light,
ALIGHT

ALIGHT exists to unlock a fresh start for survivors. We ENVISION a world where every human trafficking survivor connects to a mobilized legal network to rebuild and thrive.

LOS ANGELES EXPANSION

Outside of Colorado and the Mountain Region, ALIGHT receives the most requests for legal assistance from Los Angeles, where ALIGHT has established a strong presence.  This is not surprising, as California has the highest number of human trafficking cases reported to the National Human Trafficking Hotline in 2020.  To address the dire lack of needed legal services (i.e. trauma-informed, comprehensive nuts-and-bolts services) for survivors in the LA-area, ALIGHT is excited to focus on expanding our innovative tech model and service there.

Last month, ALIGHT was invited by the CA Attorney General’s Office to participate in a Legal Convening to Support Survivors of Domestic Violence.  It is important to recognize that there is a strong overlap in the pattern of behaviors that both abusers and traffickers use to exert power and control over a victim.  Once recognized, we can ensure that victims are connected to the appropriate resources to get the legal help they need and deserve. 

There are two ways you can help survivors fight for their rights and lead free and productive lives!

  1. Connect us those who want to support and sponsor the growth and mobilization of a robust legal network to help survivors in LA by reaching out to us at connect@alightnet.org.
  2. Connect us to attorneys who are (1) passionate about directly impacting the lives of human trafficking survivors, (2) are admitted to the CA bar, (3) carry pro bono malpractice insurance and (4) specialize in any of the below areas of expertise by having them contact us through this form

    Debtor rights, tenant rights, employment, benefits, civil litigation, tax, corporate/intellectual property, criminal justice advocacy, criminal defense, domestic relations, other (non-immigration) legal areas

LAW FIRM PARTNERSHIP ANNOUNCEMENT

Moye White

ALIGHT is pleased to partner with Moye White to engage the strategic representation experience of its 90+ attorneys across three offices (Denver, Besalt and Atlanta) in pro bono service to support human trafficking survivors.  A certified B Corporation, this specialized law firm demonstrates its commitment to the community by providing trauma-informed legal services to human trafficking survivors. 

With the partnership of Moye White, ALIGHT will greatly expand its reach and provide critical legal resources to those who would otherwise be unable to afford representation.  We look forward to working together to help survivors fight for their rights and thank Moye White for their dedication to helping those most in need.


NATIONAL SURVIVOR LAW COLLECTIVE

NSLC

ALIGHT and the National Survivor Law Collective (NSL Collective) thanks the American Bar Endowment (ABE) for its support from April 2021 through March 2022.  With funding from the ABE, the NSL Collective has provided 19 attorney trainings, training a total of 593 lawyers nationwide on trauma-informed care for human trafficking survivors.  The NSL Collective also used funding to create a national listserv and database of human trafficking legal service providers.  The NSL Collective is extremely grateful to the ABE for their support in increasing trauma-informed legal services nationally.


UPCOMING EVENTS

JUNE 7, 2022  “COMBATTING COMMERCIAL SEXUAL EXPLOITATION THROUGH LAW AND POLICY” ANNUAL CSE INSTITUTE SYMPOSIUM, VILLANOVA LAW INSTITUTE, PA

It is imperative that the experiences of survivors inform the development of policies and law reform to combat commercial sexual exploitation.  Survivor voices must remain front and center of the anti-trafficking movement as we shape policy, provide services and work toward a world where commercial sexual exploitation is a relic of the past.  ALIGHT is honored to be invited to present at the upcoming Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law Institute to Address Commercial Sexual Exploitation (CSE Institute) in the company of survivors, lawyers and law reformers. Having assisted human trafficking survivors throughout the country, the number one legal issue remains criminal record relief.

We look forward to sharing our expertise on Panel 2: Post- Criminalization: Criminal Record Relief.  REGISTER FOR THE SYMPOSIUM

JUNE 7, 2022 “UNDERSTANDING TRAUMA AND BUILDING RESILIENCE TO BETTER SERVE OUR CLIENTS,” UTAH BAR ASSOCIATION YOUNG LAWYERS DIVISION (VIRTUAL TRAINING)

This presentation will enable participants to understand what trauma is, what trauma responses look like and how to avoid re-traumatizing clients who are trauma survivors.  Learning to identify what this looks like and how to better work with trauma survivors allows us to help clients participate more actively in their case, ultimately leading to more effective legal representation.  Participants will also learn strategies to remain whole as they bear witness to the suffering of others.
 

Time: June 7th, 2022 at 12 pm MST

REGISTER FOR FREE CLE (UT) HERE

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