January is Human Trafficking Awareness Month

Press Release

(Woodland, CA) - January 11, 2016 - Yolo County District Attorney Jeff Reisig announces that January is Human Trafficking Awareness Month. Human trafficking is the world’s fastest growing criminal enterprise and is an estimated $32 billion-a-year global industry. It is very similar to modern day slavery and it exploits our most vulnerable populations. It is a form of organized crime in which human beings are treated as possessions. Victimization often includes trafficking for sexual exploitation, child exploitation, forced labor, and organ removal. Other channels include working grueling jobs as migrant, domestic, restaurant, or factory workers with no pay or compensation. The victims who are being trafficked live a life of misery. They are often beaten, starved, and forced to work as prostitutes.

According to The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), there are about 30 million people in slavery today, which is estimated to be more than at any other time in human history. There are also an estimated two million children being trafficked as victims of the sex trade each year. The average age of a child being sold into the sex slavery market is 13 and the average cost of a slave worldwide is $90.

Human Trafficking is an international problem that occurs right here in Yolo County. District Attorney Jeff Reisig says that "We are committed to combating the pervasive issue of human trafficking in Yolo County, and we support the California Attorney General’s office and the Federal Bureau of Investigation in their various efforts to stop Human Trafficking." Several members of the District Attorney staff have taken an active role in the Commercially Sexually Exploited Children Steering Committee (CSEC), a committee designed to identify common needs associated with human trafficking victims and survivors, and to get them the services they need to heal. The Yolo County District Attorney’s Office assists victims that are being exploited by diligently prosecuting these types of cases and by obtaining justice for the victims that suffer from the personal and psychological toll it takes on them. In the past year, there were five cases in Yolo County that are categorized as human trafficking cases.

To report human trafficking please call the National Human Trafficking Resource Center’s toll-free hotline at 1-888-373-7888, to speak with specialists available from anywhere in the country, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Calls can be related to potential trafficking victims, suspicious behaviors, and/or locations where trafficking is suspected to be taking place. You can also call your local police department to report the crime of human trafficking.