Equality Now rallies to end sex trafficking

Trafficking Program Officer Kristen Berg at Village Voice protest rally

Numbers are growing in the call for Village Voice Media (VVM) to stop its online facilitation of sex trafficking by shutting down adult advertisements on its Backpage.com website. Concerted efforts by advocates have already led to more than 50 companies pulling their ads from Village Voice and 48 State Attorneys General, 45 City Mayors, District Attorneys, Congress Members, countless anti-trafficking NGOs and activists, trafficking survivors, journalists, musicians and artists have all joined the movement to hold VVM accountable.

Global Director Yasmeen Hassan speaks in support of the TVPJA

Equality Now co-sponsored and participated in two protest rallies in front of the iconic Village Voice office in New York City, and in April, Equality Now’s Anti-Trafficking Director Ken Franzblau testified in front of the New York City Council in favor of a resolution calling on VVM to stop accepting adult advertisements on Backpage.com – the Council passed the resolution a few weeks later.

As part of the New York State Anti-Trafficking Coalition, Equality Now also co-sponsored and spoke at a June press conference calling on New York State to pass the Trafficking Victims Protection and Justice Act (TVPJA A.9804/S.7212), which addresses gaps and inconsistencies in the current law and increases penalties for child sex traffickers and pimps. Unfortunately, the New York legislature did not pass this important bill during this legislative session, but Equality Now will continue to build support for this bill and advocate for the legislature to pass it during its next session.

Re-live our 20th Anniversary celebration event

If you haven’t had a chance to view our 20th anniversary event held in April, full video of the event is available online - click here to view the program. Equality Now was also honored that the Honorable Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY) entered into the U.S. Congressional Record a statement congratulating Equality Now on its 20 years of activism. The statement recognized our “…tireless efforts to advance human rights and to achieve equality and justice for women and girls all over the world” for the past 20 years.


Sudan: In our last update on the case of Intisar Sharif Abdalla who was sentenced to death by stoning we reported that Intisar was released from prison after a new trial was ordered in her case. Our partners have informed us that Intisar remains in jail with her baby awaiting trial which may begin as early as next week.