In 2012, Los Angeles County was identified as a major hub for the commercial sexual exploitation of children. Adult traffickers were preying upon children, some as young as 10 years old, and forcing them to sell their bodies for money in our local streets night after night. As a result of a history of abuse and neglect prior to their exploitation, many of these children have been involved in the County’s child welfare system.
Despite being victims of exploitation, these children were routinely criminalized for behavior they were forcefully manipulated into by their exploiters. The County’s child-serving agencies, as well as law enforcement, were brought together to create a countywide response and train staff to identify and better serve child victims of sexual exploitation.
With the Los Angeles County Law Enforcement First Responder Protocol for Commercially Sexually Exploited Children, we have created a system in which law enforcement officers can identify victims of sexual exploitation and work collaboratively with County agencies and community-based organizations to avoid arrest, keep them safe and provide them with the services they need to escape exploitation. Identifying and engaging youth at this first point of contact will help keep victims of extreme sexual abuse from being criminalized. Together with law enforcement and our non-profit partners, Los Angeles County stands united in saying: “Our children are not for sale.”
Human Trafficking Awareness Month Events and Information
Intersect Summit LA: Moving from Awareness to Action to End Youth Exploitation
Wednesday, January 9th, 2019
8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
The Galen Center at USC
3400 South Figueroa Street
Los Angeles, CA 90007
For details and registration, go to: https://iempathize.org/events/intersectsummit/
Soroptomist STOP Event
Thursday, January 10, 2019
Doors open at 6:00 p.m.
Program starts at 6:30 p.m.
Santa Susana High School
3570 Cochran St.
Simi Valley, CA 93063
Additional event information:
Break the Chains 2nd Annual Anti-Human Trafficking Awareness Festival
Saturday, January 26, 2019
700 Alameda St., Compton, CA 90220
12:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Ways the Community can Join Anti-Human Trafficking Efforts:
- Become aware of the signs of trafficking and spread the word https://polarisproject.org/human-trafficking/recognize-signs
- Encourage your local schools to partner and engage with parents and students to educate youth about healthy relationships and increase the capability to equip students with information on how traffickers target school-aged children.
- If you know or suspect that a child or youth is a victim of Commercial Sexual Exploitation, call the L.A. County Child Protection Hotline at 1-800-540-4000
- If you know of suspect that a youth is a victim of labor trafficking, or that an adult is a victim of labor or sex trafficking, call the Coalition to Abolish Slavery and Trafficking Hotline at 888-KEY-2-FREE (888-539-2373) or text the National Human Trafficking Hotline at "BeFree" (233733).
- Host an event in your community to raise awareness! Spread the word about human trafficking and help other gain a better understanding of it.
- Join an anti-trafficking taskforce in your community
- Businesses can provide jobs, internships, and skills training to survivors of trafficking
- Become a foster parent to care for children that have been Commercially Sexually Exploited or who have been labor trafficked by calling 1-888-811-1121 or visit fosterlakids.com