Human Trafficking is a misunderstood phenomenon due to media sensationalism and misinformation spread via social media. Unfortunately, human trafficking occurs throughout the world, including the United States. Polaris (the National Human Trafficking Hotline) notes that the 22,326 human trafficking victims they identified in the U.S. in 2019 are only a fraction of the cases, as human trafficking is notoriously under-reported due to the failure of even victims to understand the crime that is being committed against them. As an attorney providing civil legal services to human trafficking victims in the Greater Capital Region, Mary Armistead will discuss what human trafficking has looked like in her experiences working with victims over the last three years. She will break down the definition of human trafficking, provide examples to illuminate, discuss myths and misunderstandings, and discuss the more prominent types of trafficking cases she has seen in New York's Capital Region.
Mary Armistead, Esq. is a staff attorney at The Legal Project providing direct representation to and building community capacity regarding victims of human trafficking. She provides representation in immigration, family, and employment law. Mary also teaches Immigration Law as an Adjunct Professor of Law at her alma mater, Albany Law School, where she graduated summa cum laude. Mary clerked at the New York State Court of Appeals for one year before working as the Staff Attorney of the Immigration Law Clinic at Albany Law School, both supervising students and maintaining a personal docket representing clients eligible for humanitarian immigration relief.