Sex trafficking in Queens is shaping the District Attorney primary race

By Rosemary Misdary

The challenge of eradicating the forced sex work industry in a city that is already a major hub for human trafficking has turned political in Queens.

With less than a month before the Queens district attorney primaries, seven candidates are vying to be the next Democratic nominee, a position vacant after the death of seven-term incumbent Richard Brown. At the top of the political agenda is the dismantling of the local branch of an estimated $150 billion worldwide industry: human trafficking.

“This is a hot-button issue because this is a human rights issue,” said Afua Addo, manager of Gender and Justice Initiatives at Center for Court Innovation, a nonprofit that provides justice reform expertise to the New York Courts. “I think if you’re not on the side of human rights, it would be an obvious deficit to anyone’s campaign.”

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