Human trafficking is a significant problem nationwide and in Massachusetts. Attorneys representing victims of human trafficking face considerable challenges navigating the multitude of legal issues faced by victims of this crime. Three organizations have joined forces to help ease that burden, and today they announce the availability of the first legal guide on the subject entitled, Representing Victims of Human Trafficking in Massachusetts, A Guide for Attorneys.
The guide comes in response to the passage of An Act Relative to the Commercial Exploitation of People, which became effective in Massachusetts in 2012, and the release of recommendations to the legislature in August by the Interagency Human Trafficking Policy Task Force, led by Attorney General Martha Coakley.
Representing Victims of Human Trafficking in Massachusetts, A Guide for Attorneys is a comprehensive resource that provides an overview of human trafficking law in Massachusetts to help attorneys identify victims and determine how to meet their legal and non-legal needs.
The guide describes the state of human trafficking law in Massachusetts and provides attorneys with helpful guidance in a variety of areas of law, including employment, immigration and criminal law.
WilmerHale, Lutheran Social Services of New England and the Boston University School of Law Human Trafficking Clinic collaborated on the legal guide. In addition, the authors received input from a variety of organizations, including but not limited to the Massachusetts Attorney General's Office, Suffolk County District Attorney Office, Middlesex District Attorney Office, Massachusetts Office of Victim Assistance, Committee for Public Counsel Services, My Life My Choice, Children's Advocacy Center and Brazilian Immigrant Center.
WilmerHale Associates Stephanie Neely and Michaela Sewall authored the manual, which was edited by Lutheran Social Services of New England Managing Attorney and Boston University Lecturer in Law Julie Dahlstrom, and with the assistance of Assistant Attorney General Deborah Bercovich of the Massachusetts Attorney General's Office.
Representing Victims of Human Trafficking in Massachusetts, A Guide for Attorneys is available to the public for free download, and can be viewed at www.representingmatraffickingvictims.org.