California attorney general launched new anti-human trafficking teams to apprehend perpetrators and support survivors on Friday amid an alarming increase in labor and sexual exploitation statewide during the coronavirus pandemic.
The state’s lockdown increased the rate of human trafficking and made it much harder for victims to escape and find housing and other services.
Kay Buck, the chief executive officer for LA-based non-profit Coalition described the situation as “the most unforgettable and heart-wrenching year,” as advocates saw a huge demand in services combined with a shortage of resources.
In LA alone, Kay Buck said, there was a hike of 185% in human trafficking cases. Advocates in LA County see victims – many who come from Mexico and Philippines – who were made to come to the US thinking they would get better jobs here were forced into “modern day slavery”.
The attorney general’s two new anti-trafficking teams will comprise of 13 special agents and 2 crime analysts.
Rob Bonta also suggested the Govt. to add another $30million in new grants for the next three years to combat this rise in human trafficking. The $30 million will be in addition to the already given budget spread over a period of three years.
Newson and other legislative member are discussing over what should be the final budget in private at the moment. The budget must be passed by July 1.
Actors and activists Mira Sorvino and Alyssa Milano – as well as state Assemblyman Miguel Santiago and Angela Guanzon, who escaped her trafficker and aided law enforcement in their persecution – joined Bonta on Friday to implore Newsom and lawmakers to approve the additional funds.
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