District Attorney Mark Peterson announced that his office is collaborating with local law enforcement agencies, the County’s Zero Tolerance for Human Trafficking Coalition, Family Justice Centers, and community-based organizations to raise awareness of human trafficking and slavery, provide services and support to victims and bring traffickers to justice. Contra Costa County includes Human Trafficking in its “Zero Tolerance Initiative” and will coordinate with similar initiatives in neighboring counties such as Alameda.
Peterson notes that such coordinated efforts are important to combat the many forms of modern-day slavery and human trafficking. The FBI has identified California as one of the nation’s top four destination states for trafficked persons. According to Peterson, Contra Costa County is a natural corridor for human trafficking activities with its linkage to major metropolitan areas like Oakland and San Francisco via public transportation (BART) and its accessibility to Los Angeles and Sacramento via major highways such as 680, 80 and 5 (via Hwy 4). Though human trafficking is illegal, victims often do not know where to turn for help and community members may not know where to report suspicious situations.
As part of the County’s awareness-raising efforts, Peterson announced a “Day of Action” to enforce Senate Bill 1193 (SB1193). This law, which was passed in 2013, requires specified businesses including airports, train stations, truck stops, certain bars, urgent care centers, farm labor contractors, and certain massage parlors to post notices listing information about human trafficking and a hotline number for the National Human Trafficking Resource Center.
Today, Saturday, April 23, the Contra Costa County District Attorney’s Office and police agencies in Walnut Creek, Concord, Pleasant Hill and Martinez are personally contacting some of the businesses covered by SB1193 and provide posters that include hotline numbers to seek help or report unlawful activity.
For additional information regarding SB 1193, please visit the Attorney General’s website at www.oag.ca.gov or contact your local law enforcement to report any possible slavery or human trafficking activity.