Posted by: BPSOS | May 15, 2009

Key Briefs & Reports: BPSOS Hosts Russian Officials, Media for Trafficking Discussions

Russian delegationMay 15, 2009: BPSOS this week hosted a delegation of six Russian officials and journalists working on human trafficking in Astrakhan and Kazan.

Lisa Lynn Chapman, director of Professional Services, spoke to the delegation at BPSOS’ Falls Church headquarters regarding the handling of mass labor trafficking cases by the Victims of Exploitation and Trafficking Assistance (VETA) program. Since its inception, the VETA program has handled two mass cases, including helping to liberate hundreds of workers from virtual enslavement at the Daewoosa factory in American Samoa, and assisting 22 Thai men who were trafficked to North Carolina.

“We were very pleased to be able to exchange observations and strategies with our Russian guests,” said Chapman. “Both sides contributed valuable knowledge about our global struggle against trafficking.”

BPSOS is one of the few agencies in the country that has handled large cases of this type. It set the standard for holistic legal and case management services through its work with the workers in the Daewoosa case.

Dr. Nguyen Dinh Thang, the executive director of BPSOS, spoke to the delegation regarding the work of the Coalition to Abolish Modern-day Slavery in Asia (CAMSA), of which BPSOS is a founding member. He outlined CAMSA’s work in Malaysia and other countries on behalf of trafficked Vietnamese and their struggle for safe working conditions, fair wages, and decent living conditions. He highlighted CAMSA’s three-pronged approach, which includes rescuing workers, pressuring governments to target labor traffickers, and developing and enforcing laws to protect immigrant and migrant workers.

Ambassador Joseph Grover Rees (ret.) also greeted the delegation. Rees was instrumental in the development of the US Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000, and he currently works with BPSOS as senior counselor for international initiatives.

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