Human Trafficking and California Emergency Services

California has more than its share of hazards, including earthquakes, mudslides, floods and of course, the current drought. But that doesn’t stop officials from taking on another fight — human trafficking.

California, a border state with a large immigrant population, is one of the top destinations for trafficking humans, whether it’s for sex exploitation, labor, debt bondage, involuntary servitude or drugs. “Human trafficking is becoming a well-understood threat in California,” said Mark Ghilarducci, California’s homeland security adviser and director of the state’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES). “We’re a border state with Mexico, our highway system is a pipeline to moving people who are being trafficked to the middle of the country though our highway corridors, whether for narcotics reasons or sex trafficking.”

Cal OES is spending more than $5 million through its task forces to fight the crimes. The task forces coordinate information and resources with state and federal law enforcement agencies and victims’ service providers, and help develop training for those agencies. The task forces also help develop protocols and manuals for responding to human trafficking cases and identifying and rescuing victims.

Learn more at Jim McKay’s Emergency Management article: Human Trafficking Amid a Full Plate of Hazards for California Emergency Services.

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