Leadership Ideas, Information and News

Sunday, April 03, 2011

Human Trafficking Victim Services

In Buffalo, the Human Trafficking Victim Services program at the International Institute of Buffalo recently assisted the Western New York Human Trafficking Task Force and Alliance, which is comprised of the FBI and other law enforcement agencies, in a joint investigation involving sex trafficking and related charges.

The International Institute of Buffalo was established in 1918 to support immigrants who face exploitation. In 2007, the Human Trafficking Victim Services program was created to provide services to victims of human trafficking.

Thanks to their most recent assistance, the FBI and other local partners were successful in dismantling four massage parlors acting as fronts for commercial sex operations.

The main defendant, Len Wah Chong, admitted to owning and operating four targeted massage parlors. Victims were coerced into performing sex acts at Chong’s parlors for a fee, which went to Chong. Victims were also forced to pay Chong $25 a day.

After the defendants were arrested and the victims were rescued, the International Institute of Buffalo Human Trafficking Victim Services program provided resources and assistance to the victims, which included protection and safety plans, social services advocacy, interpretation/translation services, medical assistance, legal assistance, job training, and English training. After the conclusion of the investigation, the International Institute of Buffalo continued to show its leadership and partnership capabilities by assisting the task force with ongoing cases regarding civil rights violations.

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