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EXECUTIVE PERSPECTIVE: Leading the fight against online sex-trafficking

“The important thing is for people from the private and public sector to work together.  It is all about raising awareness of the severity of the issue, and sharing best practices.  This is a global challenge that requires a broad coalition to effect real change.”

On March 14, 2018, Proskauer, a global law firm, is hosting an innovative, live-streamed event on the growing problem of online sex trafficking and how to combat it.  In the interview below, we hear from Bill Silverman, a partner at Proskauer, on how and why this event will be impactful.  Tim Nixon, Managing Editor, Sustainability.


Tim: What is the overall purpose of the event?

Bill: The fight against online sex trafficking is a fight against one of the most widespread international criminal activities and brutal forms of violence against women and girls.  Since more than 50% of sex trafficking now takes place online, we hope to address the following pressing questions, among others:

  • How have traffickers adopted and used technology to sexually exploit vulnerable people, primarily women and children?
  • What are the responsibilities of tech providers with regard to this harm and what are the laws that govern their responsibilities?
  • What are the best practices and tools to fight online sex trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation? Are additional tools needed?
  • How can tech companies partner with governmental and financial organizations in the fight against online sex trafficking?

Tim: Who is attending?

Bill: The audience will consist of about 200 leaders in law enforcement, business, public policy, the media, and human rights, including many women’s rights leaders attending the 62nd Session of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (UNCSW).  Speakers will include Cyrus Vance, New York County District Attorney, François Delattre, Ambassador of France to the United Nations, Yves Charpenel, First Prosecutor at the Supreme Court in France, Monique Villa, CEO, Thomson Reuters Foundation, Angel Nguyen, Vice President of Compliance and Financial Crimes Solutions, Enigma, and Mary Mazzio, producer and director of the documentary “I Am Jane Doe.”  Bob Herbert, veteran journalist and former New York Times columnist will facilitate the discussion.

Tim: How does this mix of global and diverse speakers enhance the impact of the event?

Bill: The goals of this event are to increase awareness and understanding of the prevalence of online sex trafficking and the harm it engenders and to encourage tech companies, law firms, law enforcement, policy makers, and victim advocates to work together to develop and implement more effective policies to combat internet trafficking.

Tim: How will Proskauer work to achieve actual positive impact?

Bill: Proskauer represents a number of individual trafficking victims as part of our pro bono program.  We also serve as Counsel to the New York State Anti-Trafficking Coalition, and organize events like this one in order to facilitate discussion and action.

Tim: How will you measure that outcome?

Bill: There is no single factor to measure the outcome here.  The important thing is for people from the private and public sector to work together.  It is all about raising awareness of the severity of the issue, and sharing best practices.  This is a global challenge that requires a broad coalition to effect real change.

Tim: Do you envision additional events or initiatives on this topic?

Bill: I consider this event to be the beginning of a series of efforts to foster collaboration.

Note: Here is the information for live streaming:

Combatting Online Sex Trafficking

On Wed, Mar 14th 2018 06:00 PM To 08:00 PM EST

To join, select from the following options:

1) Web Browser

https://primetime.bluejeans.com/a2m/live-event/srggcrxk

2)Joining via a mobile device?

  1. a) Download the app from App Store or Google Play.

iPhone/iPad : https://itunes.apple.com/app/blue-jeans/id560788314

Android : https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.bluejeansnet.Base

  1. b) Enter event ID : srggcrxk

 

 

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