NMI Judiciary gets anti-human trafficking grant


 Dr. John A. Martin, right, is pictured discussing the scope and goals of the CNMI Judiciary Human Trafficking Initiative with Patrick V. Diaz, Clerk of the CNMI Superior Court. (Contributed Photo)

The CNMI Judiciary is a recipient of a grant award from the State Justice Institute. The grant will fund an initiative to build judicial and community capacity to address human trafficking by increasing understanding about the types and dynamics of labor and sex trafficking and how the courts and community should respond. 

Numerous local and federal government agencies and non-profit organizations will be participating in the nine-month effort including all components of the Judiciary.

A diverse group of justice system and community partners will be participating such as representatives from the Office of the Attorney General, Division of Youth Services, NMI Coalition Against Sexual and Domestic Violence, Micronesian Legal Services Corp., Saipan Chamber of Commerce, and Sisters of the Good Shepherd. 

John A. Martin, Ph.D., director of the Human Trafficking and the State Courts Initiative, serves as the project’s consultant and facilitator.

He has over 40 years of experience, working with courts, justice, and human services organizations and recently has worked with the Unified Courts of Guam and the Hawaii Judiciary on similar anti-human trafficking efforts.  

Martin was on Saipan until March 9, conducting a needs assessment and gathering information integral to formulating the Judiciary’s strategic priorities for addressing human trafficking. 

Chief Justice Alexandro C. Castro said about Martin’s work in the CNMI, “He will first focus on building court and community capacity to identify trafficking victimization, and then improving the efficiency with which trafficking cases are adjudicated.”

A third and equally important area of attention will be the development of court and community infrastructure to address victims’ needs. (PR)

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