On National Human Trafficking Awareness Day, Attorney General Bonta Highlights Resources to Support Survivors of Human Trafficking | State of California – Department of Justice

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Urges businesses and members of the public across California to use available resources to combat human trafficking

OAKLAND – As part of National Human Trafficking Awareness Day, California Attorney General Rob Bonta today highlighted the resources available to businesses and members of the public to help combat the human trafficking and support survivors. California law requires certain businesses and institutions to post notices providing information and resources to survivors and the public regarding human trafficking. The Attorney General urges businesses and members of the public across the state to use these resources to help federal, state, and local authorities and community organizations combat human trafficking in California.

“Each year, thousands of cases of human trafficking are reported in the United States, including right here in California,” said Attorney General Rob Bonta. “Whether it’s for sex or work, abusing power to force or coerce someone to do something against their will is wrong. At the California Department of Justice, we are committed to defending survivors, disrupting and dismantling human trafficking networks, and securing justice. However, we all need to fight human trafficking. I urge businesses across the state to use the resources we are sharing today to help end trafficking in California. If you or someone you know has been affected by human trafficking, resources are available to you. You’re not alone.”

“Today we raise awareness of a human rights violation that occurs in neighborhoods across California every day of the year,” said Kay Buck, CEO of the Los Angeles-based Coalition to Abolish Slavery and Trafficking. “I invite all residents of our state to join us in the fight against human trafficking and in our work for systemic change to secure the rights of survivors. As the state’s largest service provider , we need you as partners.”

Human trafficking is a modern form of slavery where perpetrators profit from the control and exploitation of men, women and children for sexual or labor purposes through force, fraud or coercion. Human trafficking does not require movement across borders. According to the National Human Trafficking Hotline, more than 1,300 human trafficking cases were reported in California in 2020, more than any other state in the country. In California, human trafficking is prevalent in the hospitality, sex trade, domestic work, and construction industries. Victims of human trafficking are also found among migrant and seasonal agricultural workers, residential care providers, and in the garment industry in California.

If you or someone you know is forced into an activity and cannot leave – whether it is sex work, housework, agricultural work, construction, factory, retail or restaurant, or more – you can get anonymous, confidential help 24 hours a day, seven days a week in over 160 different languages. It is also important to remember that California law prohibits law enforcement authorities from asking individuals, including those who report or are victims of potential crimes, their immigration status, unless the information are required to certify the victim for a U visa (victim of crime visa) or T visa (victim of human trafficking visa). If you need help, you can contact local authorities and various organizations, including:

Coalition for the Abolition of Slavery and the Trafficking (CAST)

National Human Trafficking Hotline

The Resource Center for Victims of Crime

California Department of Justice Victim Services Unit

Additional Resources

Resources such as emergency food and shelter, legal services, and health services can be found on your city or county’s websites. For those who have been victims of a violent crime, the California Victims Compensation Board can help cover bills and related expenses.

As a result of Senate Bill 1193 of 2012 and subsequent legislation, California law requires certain businesses and other establishments – including hotels, motels and bed and breakfasts – to post a notice informing the public and survivors of human trafficking hotline phone numbers to call for help or report illegal activity. These notices include much of the information provided above. Each mandated business is required to post a notice in both English and Spanish and, depending on the county, businesses may be required to post a notice in a third language. Businesses or establishments that are required to post these notices do not have to pay for them. The notices are available for free on the California Department of Justice website in English, Spanish, and about two dozen other languages.

Through collaboration with federal, state, and local law enforcement partners and community organizations, Attorney General Bonta is committed to disrupting and dismantling human trafficking in California. As part of these efforts, the California Department of Justice operates two regional Human Trafficking and Sexual Predator Apprehension (HT/SSAT) Teams serving Northern and Southern California, the department serves as a lead agency within the San Diego Human Trafficking Task Force (SDHTTF), and directs the prosecution of complex, multi-jurisdictional, criminal human trafficking cases statewide. For example, in 2021, HT/SPAT and SDHTTF, in partnership with law enforcement agencies across California, took action in nearly every phase of enforcement efforts, including by:

  • Directly assisting and securing hundreds of arrests related to human trafficking and other violations of California laws, resulting in statewide prosecutions;
  • Over 350 field address checks of potential suspects and high-risk sex offenders;
  • Developing hundreds of investigative leads, conducting interviews with suspects and survivors in conjunction with law enforcement partners;
  • The execution of over 150 search warrants; and
  • Provide services to hundreds of potential survivors, including minors, and engage in direct relationships with nonprofit organizations.

Additional information and resources regarding human trafficking are available on the California Department of Justice website here.


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