Human Trafficking

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What is Human Trafficking:

  • Human trafficking is a form of modern-day slavery where perpetrators profit from the sexual exploitation and/or forced labor of men, women and children. Human Trafficking is an estimated $32 billion-a-year global industry, and after drug trafficking, it is the world’s second most profitable criminal enterprise. California, a populous border state with a significant immigrant population, is one of the nation’s top destination states for trafficking of human beings.  The perpetrators take advantage of the victims’ vulnerable situation, making them work for little or no pay in poor conditions or even forcing them into sex slavery.  It is a violation of basic human rights, and it is also a crime as defined by U.S. federal law and California state law.
  • Sex trafficking is the deprivation or violation of one’s personal liberty by means including coercion, duress, or deceit to engage the victim in commercial sexual activity, prostitution, exotic dancing, pornography, or other forms of sexual exploitation. Sex trafficking occurs within numerous venues in the broader sex industry, commonly found in street prostitution, online escort services, residential brothels, and brothels disguised as massage businesses.  When the victim is a minor under the age of 18 years old, sex trafficking does not require force or coercion. Minors cannot legally consent to sexual activity.  Child sex trafficking includes attempts to induce or persuade a minor to engage in prostitution, pornography or other forms of sexual exploitation.
  • Labor trafficking is the deprivation or violation of one’s personal liberty by means including coercion, duress, or deceit to obtain forced labor or services. Labor trafficking victims are often forced into domestic servitude, construction, restaurant, agricultural, massage parlors, or sweatshop factory work with little or no pay.
  • Human trafficking does not require that a victim be moved over state or international borders.  Perpetrators include family members, boyfriends, peer recruiters, businesses, organized criminals and gangs.  Victims of human trafficking include children, women and men.  They often have backgrounds of child abuse or domestic violence, but do span every socioeconomic and family background.  Victims of human trafficking include U.S. citizens, legal residents, and foreign nationals including those legally documented or undocumented.  Victims regularly include runaway youths solicited and recruited for prostitution and other forms of sexual exploitation.  The majority of victims don’t self-identify that they are the victims, and many are not aware that they can receive help.
  • All workers have labor and civil rights protections, regardless of their immigration status.  Immigrants, including who are in the country illegally, and others working in industries such as housekeeping, garment manufacturing and agriculture, should know there are laws protecting them from exploitation.

Human Trafficking Resources: If you believe that you or someone you know is a victim of human trafficking, help is available.  Victims of human trafficking and anyone who believes they have witnessed such activity should call:

  • The National Human Trafficking Resource Center at 1-888-373-7888 or text BeFree (233-733).  They are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, on their toll-free hotline. You can also visit their website at  Call Specialists can connect victims with law enforcement and social service providers in their local area who can help them get out of exploitative situations and into safe environments where they have access to services, such as emotional support, health care and legal services.
  • The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children Cybertip 24-hour hotline at 1-800-THE-LOST or visit
  • The California Coalition to Abolish Slavery and Trafficking (CAST) 24-hour hotline at 1-888-KEY-2-FREE (1-888-539-2373) or visit
  • Monterey County Rape Crisis Center – 24 hour hotline (831) 375-4357 or (831) 424-4357, or
  • If you or someone else is in immediate danger, call 911 or your local police.

Human Trafficking Notice:

  • Senate Bill 1193enacted April 1, 2013 added Section 52.6 to the Civil Code. The law mandates that specified businesses and other establishments post a notice informing the public and victims of human trafficking of a national telephone hotline to assist in reporting unlawful activity. A compliant poster in both English and Spanish is required to be visible in a conspicuous place near the public entrance of the establishment, or in another conspicuous location in clear view of the public and employees where similar notices are customarily posted.
  • STOP HUMAN TRAFFICKING Click here to download poster which includes information in English, Spanish, and Tagalog.
  • The following businesses and establishments are required to post the notice:
    • Adult or sexually oriented businesses
    • Bus stations
    • Business or establishments that offer massage or bodywork services for compensation and are not described in Business and Professions Code Section 4612(b)(1)
    • Emergency rooms within general acute care hospitals
    • Farm labor contractors
    • Hotels, motels, and bed and breakfast inns
    • Intercity passenger rail or light rail stations
    • On-sale general public premises licenses under the Alcoholic Beverage Control Act
    • Primary Airports
    • Privately operated job recruitment centers
    • Roadside rest areas
    • Truck stops (For purposes of this section, "truck stop" means a privately owned and operated facility that provides food, fuel, shower or other sanitary facilities, and lawful overnight truck parking.)
    • Urgent care centers