Daily 49er

Human trafficking awareness training begins in Long Beach

A new awareness campaign aims to end human trafficking in Long Beach

Jordan Daniels, Staff Writer

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To aid in the reduction and eventual minimization of human trafficking in Long Beach, the city began awareness training on Thursday that included identifying trafficking indicators, identifying victims and engagement procedures.

The training is a result of the My Sister’s Keeper awareness campaign that came as a $1.5 million California Gang Reduction, Intervention and Prevention Program grant.

“The CalGRIP grant is aimed at preventing gang membership and gang victimization among at-risk females between the ages of 10 and 24 years,” the press release stated. “The project includes a human trafficking awareness campaign, mental health treatment, housing assistance, and mentorship.”

Earlier in October, Los Angeles County Sheriff Jim McDonnell said in an article for the Los Angeles Times that police forces in L.A. County would no longer be arresting children as prostitutes, but instead treating them as victims and survivors of human trafficking.

According to the United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime, human trafficking is defined as the transfer or abduction of persons through means of threats or force to achieve control of a person for the use of exploitation through services such as prostitution or forced labor services. The city of Long Beach sees human trafficking as a form of modern day slavery, according to the press release.

In 2014, the National Human Trafficking Resource Center received more than 3,500 reports on Human Trafficking around the country with Long Beach reporting 17 cases. According to an article by Jonathan Van Dyke for the Long Beach Gazette, the Long Beach Police Department filed more human trafficking cases in 2013 than any other agency in L.A. County.

My Sister’s Keeper is now a part of Safe Long Beach, the city’s violence prevention program, which plans to reduce all forms of violence whether it is bullying, hate crimes, gang violence, etc. The campaign will contribute to the goal of “building a safer Long Beach by 2020.”

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