Chairman Don Gogniat receives Liberty Bell Award

Don Gogniat preparing to receive the Liberty Bell Award from the York County Bar Association.

We are proud to share that the York County Bar Association recently honored Don Gogniat, chairman of the board for the Center for the Study of Human Trafficking in South-Central Pennsylvania, with the Liberty Bell Award for his work raising awareness about human trafficking in the region.

The Liberty Bell Award is given to “a non-attorney volunteer in the York community who has encouraged others to respect the laws and legal system, to learn more about and take an active role in the American justice system, and to take pride in our nation’s system of freedom for all under the law.”


Governor Tom Wolf, top left, at the York County Bar Association event honoring Don Gogniat, bottom right.

The Typology of Modern Slavery

Human trafficking is not just related to sex work, but also involves a variety of other areas where individuals may find themselves in. As a report from Polaris states, there are plenty of other categories to describe the kind of work trafficking victims may be involved in. While looking at sex trafficking work is included in their study, various other areas exist. The Polaris report focuses on the following: Escort Services, Illicit Message, Health & Beauty Services, Residential, Outdoor Solicitation, Domestic Work, Bars Strip Clubs & Cantinas, Pornography, Traveling Sales Crew, Restaurant & Food Service, Peddling & Begging, Agriculture, & Animal, Husbandry, Personal Sexual Servitude, Construction, Hotels and Hospitality, Landscaping, Illicit Activities, Arts and Entertainment, Commercial Cleaning Services, Factories & Mining, Remote Interactive Sexual Acts, Carnivals, Forestry & Logging, Health Care, and Recreational Facilities. “Polaris analyzed more than 32,000 cases of human trafficking…between December 2007 and December 2016 through its operation of the National Human Trafficking Hotline and BeFree Textline.


Note**** – “This is the largest data set on Human Trafficking in the United States ever completed and analyzed.”

See the publication listed below:

Immigration crackdown enables worker exploitation, labor department staff say

Trump policies have caused panic among undocumented workers, preventing labor officials from conducting investigations and enforcing employment laws. And, this is how the undocumented are related to human trafficking.

Lack of cooperation by immigrant workers threatens to disrupt a key function of the labor department.

Some Cities Undaunted By Attorney General Crackdown On ‘Sanctuary Cities’

The Justice Department this Monday mentioned that it is going to adhere to the executive order to hold $4.1 billion in federal grants from sanctuary cities. Some counties, however, claim that they will not follow the order. One county in particular, Travis County, is not following suit. This recording explores the potential consequences of being a sanctuary city in the year of 2017. For conversation’s sake, a sanctuary city does not have to be a city. It can be a state, a county, or any jurisdiction that permits residency to illegal immigrants to help them avoid deportation.

The Story Behind the 11 million Unauthorized Immigrants in the U.S.

NPR’s All Things Considered recently took at look at the history of how the U.S. came to have so many undocumented immigrants.

This is a history of the changes of labor immigration to the United States and governmental attempts to regulate it. Any changes in the immigration laws have to take into an account U.S. economics. The U.S.,. as a rule, has benefitted from the labor imigration. But – do the immigrants always benefit?

Listen to the story below:

WITF’s Smart Talk Discusses Human Trafficking and Sexual Exploitation

WITF’s Smart Talk recently hosted two experts to discuss the problem and impact of human trafficking in Pennsylvania and the U.S.

From WITF:

Shea M. Rhodes, Director of Villanova’s CSE Institute, discussed the scope of human trafficking and forced prostitution and society’s approach to aiding those victims.  Dr. Susan Mapp, Professor of Social Work at Elizabethtown College, described the impact these crimes have in Central Pennsylvania. Mapp also pointed out that there are other forms of trafficking besides sex trafficking; she also talks about the people who are vulnerable to be trafficked.

Listen the the episode here:

The Daily Item: Judge Warns of Human Trafficking Dangers in the Valley

“If you think sex trafficking isn’t happening in the Valley, then think again, a former Lycoming County district judge said.

More than 60 people gathered at the Christ Wesleyan Church, in Milton, Saturday for a symposium titled, “Open Your Eyes: Reasons, Responsibilities, Responses,” for the purpose of helping the community understand that the problem of child exploitation is real and relevant, Senior Lycoming County District Judge Jim Sortman said.”

Read more at The Daily Item.

Photo courtesy of Francis Scarcella/The Daily Item.

Miami University student writes about growth of human trafficking in Ohio, nationwide

A Miami University student recently interviewed Stepanka Korytova, founder of the Centers for the Study of Human Trafficking – South-Central Pennsylvania, about the abuse she experienced emigrating to the U.S. as part of a story sharing about the the growth of human trafficking in the U.S.


Read Blair Donovan’s well-researched piece about the problems surrounding trafficking in Ohio in particular here: “Alone And Enslaved: The Human Trafficking Epidemic In The United States.”


Beauty pageant silences contestant critical of Chinese human rights abuses

Working through a British-sponsored beauty pageant the Chinese government seems to have gone out of its way to silence this 26 year old who has been speaking out against China for its human rights record. From the New York Times:

“After the Chinese authorities blocked the Canadian beauty queen Anastasia Lin from attending the 65th annual Miss World pageant in China last year, the event’s British organizers offered her a consolation prize, of sorts: They promised to allow her a chance to compete in the 2016 finals, which are currently underway in suburban Washington.

What they did not tell her was that she could smile but not speak out publicly during the event, which is largely sponsored by Chinese companies.

Over the past three weeks, as she and her fellow contestants have rehearsed for Tuesday’s finale, Ms. Lin, 26 — an actress, classically trained pianist and outspoken critic of Chinese human rights abuses — has been barred from speaking to the news media, friends and relatives said.”

Read the complete story here.