News & UpdatesJanuary 18, 2012-Humanity United News, Advocacy, Modern-Day Slavery
Modern-day slavery is one of the world’s most pressing human rights challenges. Legal nowhere, it persists across the globe—including here in the United States. And in California, home to Humanity United’s headquarters, the problem of human trafficking is particularly acute.
This January, we are marking National Human Trafficking Prevention Month by partnering with law enforcement throughout the Golden State to raise awareness about modern-day slavery. Local police are often the first to encounter human trafficking victims, and neither police nor the victims themselves may be aware the crime of human trafficking is at work.
Humanity United sent out training toolkits to every police station in California. The kits were accompanied by a letter from former Truckee, Calif. Police Chief Nick Sensley, now a consultant with Humanity United, and training materials created specifically for law enforcement by the International Association of Chiefs of Police. Their program has received strong support from the California Chiefs of Police Association and the California State Sheriffs Association. In addition to training materials—such as video tutorials on how to identify and treat victims and guidebooks—the kits also included awareness pins that the officers will wear throughout the month of January.
“Thousands of men and women are victimized by traffickers every day,” said California Chiefs of Police Association President Mark N. Pazin in a letter to officers about the project. “Many are used as virtual slave labor for employers or as sex trade workers forced to work against their will. Human trafficking is not always easy to detect, and can appear as a variety of other offenses. Local law enforcement officers are the first responders in communities where these crimes occur and are therefore important in identifying and exposing these serious crimes.”
Human trafficking awareness pins sent to California law enforcement.
Above: Training packages en route to police stations throughout the state.