International Institute

Western New York no stranger to human trafficking

Aug 9, 2018
Nancy Fischer / WBFO

Human trafficking is modern-day slavery, but it’s not chains that bind victims. Instead, it is fear and shame - and it’s happening right here in Western New York.

If you want to see how refugees are changing Buffalo, N.Y., the West Side Bazaar is a good place to start. It's an incubator for immigrant-owned businesses. And it's the only place in town where you can eat Ethiopian sponge bread, Burmese noodles and Peruvian chicken at the same table. It's also a market with clothing and gifts.

"We are like family here — families from different countries," says Nadeen Yousef, who moved to Buffalo from Iraq last year. Yousef now has a booth at the bazaar, where she sells handmade macrame wall hangings and art.

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Two western New York agencies recently secured additional funding to fight human trafficking. The U.S. Department of Justice awarded the Erie County Sheriff’s Office and the International Institute of Buffalo for their collaborative efforts to combat the crime.

New non-profit to assist local Burmese population

Sep 6, 2013
Ashley Hirtzel / WBFO News

A new support center aims to assist the large Burmese population in Buffalo. The Burmese Community Support Center is located on Buffalo’s Westside and is run by the Burmese community.

WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley

As the city of Buffalo's immigrant population increases, the International Institute is striving to help them find jobs. 

Thursday the International Career and Resource fair will be bringing some area employers together with Buffalo's immigrant and refugee population.

WBFO & AM-970's Eileen Buckley says some International Institute clients are already finding success in the workplace.