Human Trafficking

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You Can Help Us Abolish Human Trafficking

Human trafficking is modern-day slavery and involves the use of force, fraud, or coercion to exploit a person for labor or commercial sex. It is a worldwide problem and the United States is one of the highest end-points for human traffickers. Estimates indicate that California is one of the nation’s top four destinations.

This problem is not happening halfway across the world. Victims are transnational and domestic. Yet, how many of us are aware of human trafficking, or even know what to look for?

Human Trafficking occurs in our own community. An FBI Task Force has recovered 300 girls in the Sacramento area in the last few years alone. The youngest victim was 11 years old.

We can all help combat this epidemic in our community by understanding what human trafficking is and how you can help abolish it. This page is dedicated to information, tips and resources to help each and every one of us take up this fight.


Ken Cooley Signature Block
Assemblyman, 8th District

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How to Identify Victims of Human Trafficking

According to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), human trafficking victims are often isolated away from the public but are often in plain sight. Expand this section to learn to identify the signs of a human trafficking victim.

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Indicators Concerning a Potential Victim Include:

Behavior or Physical State:

· Does the victim act fearful, anxious, depressed, submissive, tense, or nervous/paranoid?
· Does the victim defer to another person to speak for him or her?
· Does the victim show signs of physical and/or sexual abuse, physical restraint, confinement, or torture?
· Has the victim been harmed or deprived of food, water, sleep, medical care, or other life necessities?
· Does the victim have few or no personal possessions?

Social Behavior:

· Can the victim freely contact friends or family?
· Is the victim allowed to socialize or attend religious services?
· Does the victim have freedom of movement?
· Has the victim or family been threatened with harm if the victim attempts to escape?

Work Conditions and Immigration Status:

· Does the victim work excessively long and/or unusual hours?
· Is the victim a juvenile engaged in commercial sex?
· Was the victim recruited for one purpose but forced to engage in some other job?
· Is the victim’s salary being garnished to pay off a smuggling fee? (Paying off a smuggling fee alone is not considered trafficking.)
· Has the victim been forced to perform sexual acts?
· Has the victim been threatened with deportation or law enforcement action? Is the victim in possession of identification and travel documents; if not, who has control of the documents?

Minor Victims:

· Is the victim a juvenile engaged in commercial sex?

Click here for more human trafficking Indicators:

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Understanding Human Trafficking

According to The Polaris Project, an organization working with government leaders to protect victims’ rights and affect long-term change by focusing communities on identifying and eliminating human trafficking networks, it is estimated that there are nearly 21 million human trafficking victims worldwide at any time.

This 20.9 million includes 14.2 million victims of labor exploitation, 4.5 million victims of sexual exploitation, and 2.2 million victims of state-imposed forced labor. Expand this section to learn more about human trafficking.

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The victims of human trafficking are often young girls and women. Young girls and women constitute 55% of the forced-labor victims and 98% of sex trafficking victims. For more information on this subject, visit The Polaris Project at

Human trafficking is an estimated $32 billion-a-year global industry. After drug trafficking, human trafficking is the world’s second most profitable criminal enterprise, a status it shares with illegal arms trafficking. Like drug and arms trafficking, the United States is one of the top destination countries for human trafficking.

California – a populous border state with a significant immigrant population and the world’s eighth largest economy – is one of the nation's top four destination states for human trafficking.
According to Courage Worldwide, due to the hidden nature of the crime of sex trafficking, the exact number of domestic children being trafficked in the United States is unknown, but the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) estimates that at least 100,000 children are caught up in the insidious world of child prostitution each year. On average, these children are 12–14 years old.

Domestic sex trafficking of minors is a prominent and growing issue in the greater Sacramento area. In the last several years, a local FBI task force has recovered over 300 girls being sold for sex; the youngest was 11 years old. Of the 300 girls rescued in the Sacramento area, a large percentage of them have no home, no family, and no services to support them. For more information, visit Courage Worldwide’s website at

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Human Trafficking and Major Sporting Events

According to the U.S. State Department, major sporting events like the Olympics, World Cup, and Super Bowl provide both an opportunity to raise awareness about human trafficking as well as a challenge to identify trafficking victims and prosecute traffickers who take advantage of these events. Successful anti-trafficking efforts must be comprehensive and sustainable, addressing both labor and sex trafficking conditions before, during, and after such events. Expand this section to learn more about human trafficking at major sporting events.

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Prior to the Event:

Major sporting events often entail massive capital improvement and infrastructure projects. This creates a huge demand for cost-effective labor and materials. Governments and civil society can take steps to prevent this significant increase in construction from being accompanied by an increase in forced labor. Governments should ensure labor laws meet international standards, regulate labor recruitment agencies, and frequently inspect construction sites for violations of labor laws. To prepare for the 2012 Olympics in London, the London Councils, a government association in the United Kingdom, commissioned a report on the potential impact of the Olympics on human trafficking. Governments in countries hosting major sporting events may wish to consider similar analyses to identify potential gaps in human trafficking responses. These strategies will be particularly important in countries planning to host future Olympics (Brazil in 2016, South Korea in 2018, and Japan in 2020) and World Cup tournaments (Russia in 2018 and Qatar in 2022).

Game Day:

Increased commerce, tourism, and media attention accompany major sporting events. Unfortunately, there is a lack of hard data on the prevalence of human trafficking—including sex trafficking —associated with these events. Governments and civil society—including the airline and hospitality sectors—can collaborate to combat trafficking by launching media campaigns, training law enforcement officials and event staff and volunteers, and by establishing partnerships to recognize indicators of human trafficking and to identify victims. Additional data collection of human trafficking surrounding major sporting events will inform future anti-trafficking efforts.

After the Event Concludes:

Modern slavery is a 365-day-a-year crime that requires a 365-day-a-year response. Traffickers do not cease operations once a sporting event concludes, and stadiums and surrounding areas can remain popular destinations for travel and tourism. The lasting effect of anti-trafficking efforts associated with major sporting events can be even more important than the impact of those efforts during the event itself. This ripple effect can take the form of enhanced partnerships between law enforcement officials, service providers, and the tourism industry, or simply sports fans sustaining the anti-trafficking efforts that they learned about during the event.

Source: U.S. Department of State, 03/05/15

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U.S. Department of State
Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons
The Department of State’s Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons leads the United States in its efforts to address human trafficking. In collaboration with the Department of Homeland Security, the Office has developed awareness and training materials to help increase awareness and educate on the indicators of human trafficking.

U.S. Department of Homeland Security
Hotline: (866) 347-2423
The Department of Homeland Security’s Blue Campaign works in collaboration with law enforcement, government, non-governmental and private organizations to protect the rights of human trafficking victims and to bring those who exploit them to justice. The campaign offers training to law enforcement and others to increase detection and investigation of human trafficking, and focuses on stabilizing victims that have been identified.

Local Resources:

A Community for Peace

Hotline: (916) 728-7210 (24 Hours a Day/7 Days a Week)

Business Line: (916) 728-5613

Educational classes, counseling and support

My Sister's House
Hotline: (916) 428-3271 (24 Hours a Day/7 Days a Week)
Business Phone: (916) 930-0626
Short-term housing for women and children impacted by domestic violence, sexual assault, and human trafficking

Hotline: (866) 920-2952 (24 Hours a Day/7 Days a Week)
Business Phone: (916) 448-2321
24-hour support to human trafficking victims

Blue Heart International
Raises awareness to address human trafficking and funds to help rescued victims

Courage Worldwide
Intake Line: (916) 316-6029
Business Phone: (916) 517-1616
Awareness and long-term housing for victims of commercial sexual exploitation, counseling, and support

3 Strands Global (Formerly Break Free)
Hotline: (530) 306-6435
Provides sustainable employment to international victims, and education and engagement initiatives in classrooms and communities throughout California

Bridget's Dream
Hotline: (916) 235-3690
Business Phone: (916) 235-3690
Fights human trafficking in Sacramento through prevention, intervention, and restoration

Community Against Sexual Harm
Hotline: (916) 856-2900
Business Phone: (916) 856-2900
Survivor-led peer support and harm reduction services for victims, and public awareness

Opening Doors Inc.
Business Phone (916) 492-2591
Spanish line (916) 492-2008
Assistance in building financial and personal assets for human trafficking victims providing safe places, skills development, business loans, and connections to community resources

Learn more about Human Trafficking:

California Attorney General, Kamala Harris
Provides a clearinghouse of information, reports on research and resources designed to highlight the important work being done across the state to raise awareness, serve victims, bring perpetrators to justice, and create a future without human trafficking.

Sacramento County District Attorney, Anne Marie Schubert
Business: (916) 874-6218
Maintains a Human Trafficking Team that provides law enforcement with regular training on the signs that can indicate a trafficking situation, as well as how to follow up and appropriately respond to victims. Prosecutes those who sexually exploit women and children.

The Polaris Project
Business Phone: (202) 745-1001
Offers comprehensive clinical services to victims of human trafficking, advocates for state and federal policy related to the crime, and operates the National Human Trafficking Resource Center providing information and services to victims, community members, and professionals

National Human Trafficking Resource Center
Hotline: (888) 373-7888 (24 Hours a Day/7 Days a Week)
National, toll-free hotline available to answer calls from anywhere in the country in more than 200 languages 

Coalition to Abolish Slavery and Trafficking
Hotline: (888) 539-2373 (24 Hours a Day/7 Days a Week)
Identification of trafficking survivors, community education, and provision of services to victims

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