Human trafficking is a modern-day form of slavery in which people are coerced or sold into labor or sex work. The United States is widely regarded as a destination country for human trafficking. The U.S. Department of State estimates that 14,500 to 17,500 victims are trafficked into the United States each year. NCJW-CA has prioritized the fight against human trafficking in California for several years. In 2016 we were the organizational co-sponsors of AB 1760, AB 1761, and AB 1762 along with the Coalition to Abolish Slavery and Trafficking. Click here to learn more about the bills.
It is imperative that the State of California help survivors of human trafficking restart their lives once they are no longer victims, but arrests and criminal records for non-violent crimes they are forced to commit by their traffickers, such as prostitution, theft, truancy, and loitering, create huge barriers for them to obtain the services they need and have real access to housing and employment. It is also imperative that we not treat children who are engaging in commercial sex acts as criminals, further traumatizing them and reducing the chances that these children will seek or have access to help. To learn more about our efforts to fight human trafficking, click here.
Gender-related violence is hostility directed against a person because of his or her gender, gender identity, gender expression, and/or sexual orientation. It is a breach of the fundamental right to life, liberty, security, dignity, and equality.
Gender-related violence can include domestic and intimate partner violence, sexual assault and violence, and any form of violence against women, LBGTQ+ individuals, children, and men.
Reproductive justice calls for the complete physical, mental, spiritual, political, social, and economic well-being of women and girls, based on the full achievement and protection of women’s human rights. NCJW|LA is working to ensure that all women in America are able to make their own reproductive decisions without having to worry about affordability or accessibility.
Healthcare is a human right, and NCJW|LA is proud to have played an active role in helping pass the Affordable Care Act. The act has provided essential medical coverage to those who were unable to access it or pay for it. It is a benefit to women in particular because of the many preventive health services that it provides without co-pays or other extra costs.
We have so much more to do to reach those who still have not taken advantage of the law to obtain health insurance. Everyone should have routine preventive care and affordable access to a regular doctor to stay healthy. We will continue to work to educate individuals and families and encourage them to take advantage of the new law.
NCJW|LA believes that we all have a responsibility to speak for the children in our communities. We must provide a voice when they are too young or do not have the ability to speak out about the issues that affect them.
Children’s rights include:
- The right to a free and fair education
- The right to an improved foster care system
- The right to ensuring that youth can obtain the healthcare they need including abortions and birth control without parental consent and with confidentiality
- The right to access to higher education
- The right to comprehensive support for homeless, runaway, LGBTQ+, immigrant and undocumented youth
Economic justice encompasses the moral principles which guide us in designing our economic policies. These policies determine how each person earns a living, participates in the economy, and contributes to society.
- Current economic justice issues include:
- A fair and appropriate minimum wage for all workers
- Expanding and ensuring access to paid family leave and paid sick days
- Ending wage theft
- Fair scheduling
Women’s Rights in Israel
More than half the population of Israel is female. Without the right to marry or divorce as they choose, pray as they choose, and receive equal pay and equal opportunity in the workplace, women in Israel do not have rights equal to those of men.
Israeli society continues to evolve as more and more women demand their fair and equal rights amidst serious challenges to those rights. NCJW|LA has long been committed to advancing the status of women in Israel by helping them to develop a stronger voice at all levels of society.
To learn more about and support our Israel Granting Program, which addresses these issues by providing grants to NCJW Israel, click here.
Violence against LGBTQ people, social and religious isolation, workplace discrimination, unemployment and homelessness are some of the major issues facing this community. NCJW|LA has a strong record of supporting equality for our LGBTQ+ community members, including partnerships with LGBTQ+ organizations and the City of West Hollywood.
Gun Violence Prevention
Firearms killed 33,736 people in the United States in 2014, according to the Center for Disease Control. This is almost as many people as were killed in traffic accidents.
NCJW|LA works for laws, policies and programs to restrict and regulate firearms in order to prevent gun violence. We support measures to require all gun buyers to pass a criminal background check, including closing the private sale loophole; ban military-style assault weapons and high-capacity magazines; and make gun trafficking a federal crime. These common-sense proposals would close deadly gaps in our gun laws and ensure that law enforcement agencies have the tools they need to detect and deter gun trafficking.
From its founding, NCJW|LA has been an advocate on behalf of immigrants. Today we support comprehensive immigration reform that allows hard-working undocumented immigrants to earn legal status and citizenship, expedites family reunification, establishes humane border security policies and ensures that immigrant women and families have access to basic human services during the legalization process.
Get Out The Vote
In recent years, many states have made repeated attempts to curb voting rights with laws that make requirements for voting unnecessarily burdensome. Although Congress reauthorized the Voting Rights Act (VRA) of 1965 in 2006 with tremendous bipartisan support, the 2013 Supreme Court decision in Shelby County v. Holder gutted a key provision of the law. Before the Shelby County decision, certain states and jurisdictions had to report any voting law changes to the Department of Justice (DOJ) prior to implementation. Despite the VRA’s record of success in preventing discriminatory voting practices, the Supreme Court ruled that the law used an inappropriate method or formula to determine which states required federal oversight. As a result, this decision opened the door for a wave of restrictions in state and local governments that will deny millions of Americans access to the polls.
NCJW continues to oppose any effort to erode voting rights and advocates for a legislative fix to repair the damage done to the Voting Rights Act by the Shelby County decision.
NCJW supports the bipartisan Voting Rights Advancement Act of 2015 (VRAA, S 1659/HR 2867), introduced on June 24, 2015 in response to the Shelby County decision, by Rep. Terri Sewell (D-AL) in the House and by Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) in the Senate. This legislation offers a modern, flexible, and forward-looking set of protections that would provide new tools to combat voting discrimination before it occurs.
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To donate to support our advocacy and educational programming on these issues, click here.