LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Local officials announced Monday a partnership with community organizations to seek Southland residents’ help in reporting human trafficking and other suspicious activity.
KNX 1070’s Bob Brill reports the effort is centered on a campaign to place posters everywhere from emergency rooms to public transportation throughout the city of Los Angeles.
Mayor Eric Garcetti, Supervisor Don Knabe, City Attorney Mike Feuer, and other city and county officials were on hand for to help train several of over 100 volunteers with the Human Trafficking Poster Outreach Project, an effort that will provide posters to businesses detailing the plight of as many as 17,500 victims trafficked into the U.S. each year.
The training will include stories from trafficking survivors and will outline safety precautions and tips for volunteers on how to record business responses.
Knabe said officials are targeting local massage parlors along with pushing state lawmakers to increase penalties on Johns as well as pimps.
“If you see 10-, 12-, 14-year-old girls walking in and out of massage parlors from time to time, you need to report it,” Knabe said.
Lawmakers in Sacramento passed Senate Bill 1193, which, as of April 1, 2013, requires specified businesses and other establishments to post a notice informing the public and victims of human trafficking of telephone hotline numbers to seek help or report unlawful activity.
California – a populous border state with a significant immigrant population and the world’s ninth largest economy – is one of the nation’s top four destination states for trafficking human beings, according to California Attorney General Kamala Harris’ office.