Activists against human trafficking are getting much-needed support from law enforcement agencies across California. Officials recently announced the arrests of more than 500 suspects in a human trafficking crackdown that stretched across the state.
OPERATION REBUILD AND RECLAIM
Roughly 85 federal, state and local agencies took part in the three-day sweep called “Operation Reclaim and Rebuild.” A total of 56 females were rescued during the late January operation including 11 juveniles. Los Angeles County Sheriff Jim McDonnell said the 510 suspects arrested included 178 so-called “johns” and 30 men suspected of trafficking. McDonnell also called human sex trafficking one of the most heinous crimes of modern times. “Operation Reclaim and Rebuild” began in 2015 and aims to help sex industry survivors reclaim and rebuild their lives. Since the inception of the operation, more than 220 people have been rescued. Nearly 950 people have been arrested for such offenses as buying sex, suspicion of trafficking, internet crimes against children or other miscellaneous crimes, according to McDonnell. The Coalition to Abolish Slavery and Trafficking is assisting the survivors of the recent “Operation Rebuild and Reclaim” raid.
CLOSE TO HOME
Sexual exploitation or forced labor is a human rights issue and is closer to your neighborhood than you think as criminals know no borders. The crime not only happens in underprivileged neighborhoods but also in some of the most affluent and safest communities in the state.
SOUND YOUR VOICE
If you would like to get involved here are a few avenues that allow community members to take action:
· If you believe someone may be involved in human trafficking, report your suspicions to law enforcement by calling 911 or the 24-hour National Human Trafficking Hotline line at 1-888-373-7888.
· Volunteer and support anti-trafficking efforts in your community such as marches or fundraisers.
· Call or email your local, state, and federal government representatives to let them know you care about the fight against human trafficking, and ask what they have done are currently working on to address it.
Redeeming Love provides extended care to trafficked survivors in need of a safe place to recover.