Human Trafficking Prevention Resources
Human trafficking is the world's fastest growing criminal enterprise and is an estimated $150 billion per year global industry. Even worse, 2 million children worldwide and 100,000 in the U.S. are commercially sexually exploited every year. Los Angeles has one of the highest incidences of trafficking due to our proximity to airports and the port of Los Angeles. With these startling statistics, two laws have been put into effect to ensure we do our part to inform parents of the warning signs of human trafficking (SB 1104) and students through the sexual health curriculum in grades 7-8 (AB 1227).
What is Human Trafficking?
Human trafficking is modern-day slavery and involves the use of force, fraud, or coercion to obtain some type of labor or commercial sex act.
How to Keep Your Child Safe:
Just as "it takes a village to raise a child," it takes a community that's aware and looking out for it's children to keep them protected from child trafficking and exploitation. Be informed and watch out for the children in our communities!
1. TALK WITH YOUR CHILD.
The average age of exploitation is between 11 and 14, but it is never too early to talk to your child about safety. Build a relationship of open communication and trust. Your child needs to know there is an open invitation to talk about anything they (or their friends) are experiencing without fear or judgement.
2. KEEP YOUR CHILD SAFE ONLINE.
The internet is a place filled with both opportunities and risks and with children having access to the internet through their personal cell phones, the possibilities are endless. These questions can help you determine a standard for your home:
- Where will internet-enabled devices (computers, laptops, tablets, gaming consoles, electronic books) be located?
- What times throughout the day is the internet allowed?
- What types of websites are people allowed to access both in and outside of the home?
- How is social media used (e.g., Snapchat, Instagram, TikTok, etc.)?
3. KNOW THE RED FLAGS.
- The sudden presence of an older boyfriend/girlfriend
- The sudden addition of a lot of new stuff or the appearance that a lot of money has been spent on them (e.g., new clothes, new hair styles, manicures/pedicures)
- Being secretive about who they are talking to or meeting
- Becoming more and more isolated from their regular friends (the groomer often does this to have as much control as possible over the child)
- Unexplained changes in behavior, temperament, or personality (e.g., chaotic, aggressive, sexual, mood swings)
Adapted from www.love146.org/caregivers
In Los Angeles, if you ever suspect child labor or sex trafficking or exploitation, call the LA County Child Abuse Hotline: 1 (800) 540-4000
For more resources, please visit the websites below: