About 400 businesses across San Diego are being told to display city-designed posters that ask the public to report suspected human trafficking. The outreach project stems from a state law that went into effect last April requiring certain businesses to display posters that promote awareness of human trafficking and refers victims to various resources.
County District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis said San Diego may be one of the first cities in California to establish a program encouraging businesses to follow the poster provision. Businesses that do not display the posters may receive a notice of noncompliance. Failure to display the poster within 30 days of the notice can result in a $500 fine for the first offense and $1,000 for each subsequent offense.
While the poster program is limited to just the city of San Diego, a county-wide version is in the works and could be revealed within the next two months, said Tanya Sierra, public information officer for the San Diego County District Attorney’s office. City Attorney Jan Goldsmith said the new poster program is modeled after a Texas law launched in 2007. Law enforcement officials in that state reported that 20 percent of the calls they received about human trafficking came from people who were prompted by the posters, he said.
The posters distributed in San Diego are in English, Spanish and Chinese. People who see signs of human trafficking are asked to call the National Human Trafficking Resource Center at 888-373-7888 or the California Coalition to Abolish Slavery and Trafficking at 888-539-2373.
The law and an example of a poster can be seen online at state attorney general’s website.
Learn more at Gary Warth’s San Diego Union-Tribune article: Officials tout anti-trafficking posters.