Monday, February 10, 2014

City Officials Announce Anti-Trafficking Initiative

A new Los Angeles initiative to combat human trafficking was announced this morning by Mayor Eric Garcetti with the support of several city and county officials.

The Mayor announced a new poster campaign as part of state Senate Bill 1193, which requires businesses to post information with phone numbers and locations to help human trafficking victims.

The Human Trafficking Poster Outreach Project aims to get businesses not already complying with the state law to do so.

The fight against human trafficking continued this morning as Los Angeles city and county officials and supportive organizations joined together to launch the Human Trafficking Poster Outreach Project.

Senate Bill 1193, the Anti-Human Trafficking Implementation proposal, which went into effect in April, was a state law that requires 12 types of businesses to place posters with information about human trafficking in a conspicuous space near the front of the building.

The poster project seeks to raise public awareness regarding human trafficking by sending out volunteers to hand out leaflets and information to businesses that have not been complying with SB 1193.

Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas attended the press conference. His communications deputy, Lorenza Munoz, says the new initiative is a response to the lack of cooperation from businesses.

Munoz says California is one of the top four states in numbers of trafficked people, while Los Angeles is considered a central hub for the multi-million dollar industry.

Los Angeles City Council member Nury Martinez is part of the coalition to combat human trafficking because she says her district is heavily affected by it.

Martinez says many victims of trafficking have joined various organizations to become advocates against the industry. Some of those organizations, which also united with the city’s outreach project, include the National Council of Jewish Women Los Angeles and CAST, the Coalition to Abolish Slavery.

According to SB 1193, violations of the law would result in a $500 fine followed subsequently by $1,000 fines if the business continues to disregard the law. The types of locations required to comply include emergency rooms, urgent care centers, massage parlors, farm labor contractors, bus stations, roadside rest stops and adult oriented businesses.