Each day, in the U.S. and across the globe, human beings are sold, purchased, and stripped of their basic human rights. Human trafficking is a reality that effects people across race, gender identity, sexual orientation, socioeconomic, nationality, age, and all other identifiers.
Human Trafficking Defined
Human trafficking is modern-day slavery involving the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harboring or receipt of persons; by means of force, fraud, deception, or coercion; for the purpose of sexual exploitation, labor, or services. Human trafficking presents a multi-dimensional threat, stripping victims of their basic human rights and freedoms, increasing global health risks, and fueling the growth of organized crime.1
The high profit and low risk factor of human trafficking have rendered it one of the fastest growing criminal enterprises in the world. Generating revenues of approximately $150 billion a year 2, human trafficking is the fourth most profitable organized criminal industry3, with an estimated 40.3 million victims worldwide at any given time4. Victims are young children, teenagers, women, and men.
The United States is one of the top three origin countries for trafficked victims5, with California being a primary transit and destination state. The proximity to international borders, high number of ports and airports, significant immigrant population, and large economy make California fertile grounds for the exploitation of human beings.
Victims of slavery and human trafficking are protected under United States and California law. The California Victim Compensation Board (CalVCB) is available to assist eligible victims with crime-related expenses. Victims of human trafficking can apply for CalVCB assistance in several ways:
- Contact a local county Victim Witness Assistance Center. A victim advocate at the center can help victims complete and submit an application as well as provide other assistance. Most victim witness centers are part of the county District Attorney’s office.
- Call the CalVCB Help Line at (800) 777-9229
- Download an application from CalVCB's How to Apply page
- E-mail CalVCB at firstname.lastname@example.org
There are several ways to verify CalVCB eligibility for a victim of human trafficking. They include:
- Law enforcement agency endorsement
- Human trafficking caseworker has attested by affidavit
- Certification or eligibility letter from a government agency for special visa as a refugee
- Medical or mental health records documenting injuries consistent with human trafficking
National Human Trafficking Hotline
The National Human Trafficking Hotline is a national anti-trafficking hotline serving victims and survivors of human trafficking and the anti-trafficking community in the United States. The toll-free hotline is available to answer calls from anywhere in the country, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, every day of the year in more than 200 languages. 1-888-373-7888 (TTY: 711) & Text 233733
U.S. Department of Justice
You can report trafficking crimes or obtain help by calling the Trafficking in Persons and Worker Exploitation Task Force (TPWETF) Complaint Line. New laws provide options for trafficking victims regardless of immigration status. Interpreters are available. Call 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. E.S.T. 1-888-428-7581 (voice and TTY)
Coalition to Abolish Slavery and Trafficking (CAST)
The mission of the Coalition to Abolish Slavery and Trafficking (CAST) is to assist persons trafficked for the purpose of forced labor and slavery-like practices and to work toward ending all instances of such human rights violations.
Bilateral Safety Corridor Coalition (BSCC)
The BSCC is an alliance of over 60 government and nonprofit agencies in the United States and Latin America that is convened in and along the U.S.-Mexico Border Region to combat slavery and human trafficking. BSCC's purpose is to bilaterally prevent and intervene in the commercial and sexual exploitation of men, women and children, while advocating for all exploited persons. BSCC administers a variety of projects and services for victims, law enforcement, and the community. The BSCC trafficking hotline provides bilingual assistance and is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to assist victims, service providers and law enforcement: (888) 373-7888.
Motivating, Inspiring, Supporting and Serving Sexually Exploited Youth (MISSSEY)
MISSEY provides direct services to commercially sexually exploited children and young women, which includes case management, resource services, and our Safe Place Alternative drop-in recovery center. They also provide exploited children with client advocacy, case management, and additional recovery and transition services.
New Day for Children
The New Day for Children programs provide safe and secure living environments for children from California and other referring states 24 hours per day, 365 days per year, until they are healthy and prepared to live again with their families or guardians or until attaining adulthood.
California Department of Social Services Office of Refugee Services
These are services for refugees, asylees, and trafficking victims. The Refugee Resettlement Program (RRP) assists eligible refugees, Cuban/Haitian entrants, asylees, certified human trafficking victims and their family members, Special Immigrant Visa holders and certain Amerasians from Vietnam to successfully resettle in California
Senate Bill 970
Signed into law on September 27, 2018, SB 970 requires specified employers to provide at least 20 minutes of prescribed training and education regarding human trafficking awareness to employees who are likely to interact or come into contact with victims of human trafficking, as defined. The bill establishes a schedule for compliance commencing January 1, 2020. The bill authorizes the Department of Fair Employment and Housing, in the case of an employer violation of the bill’s requirements, to seek an order requiring compliance.
Senate Bill 1193: Information for Victims of Human Trafficking
Sample notices with human trafficking hotlines are legally required to be posted in certain places where trafficking victims are likely to see them. The notices provide critical information on where to get help and tell the public how to report suspected human trafficking.