Announcements

Sacramento March Against Slavery 2011

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SACRAMENTO MARCH AGAINST SLAVERY 2011

18 SEPTEMBER 2011 at Cesar Chavez Park, Sacramento

 The 2011 Sacramento March Against Slavery will be Sacramento’s 3rd annual march against human trafficking and exploitation! In addition to raising awareness about human trafficking in Sacramento and across the globe, this event will raise funds for local organizations combatting this issue throughout the region.

To register please visit Chab Dai’s website at http://chabdai.org/sacmarch.html

Rep. Matsui Announces up to $862k in Federal Grants to Combat Human Trafficking in Sacramento Region

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, July 7, 2011

CONTACT: MARA LEE
(202) 225-7163

Rep. Matsui Announces up to $862k in Federal Grants to Combat Human Trafficking in Sacramento Region
Three Year Grant Provides $287k in First Year to Sacramento Rescue & Restore Coalition

SACRAMENTO, CA – Today, Congresswoman Doris Matsui (D-Sacramento) announced that a three year federal grant that could total up to $862,236 has been awarded to the Sacramento Employment and Training Agency (SETA) and the Sacramento Rescue & Restore Coalition by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Service’s Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR).  This grant comes as part of the federal government’s Rescue and Restore Victims of Human Trafficking Regional Program.  SETA will receive $287,412 for the first year of the three year grant period.  Additional funds will be contingent upon the program hitting specified targets. 

SETA will use the funds to partner with community organizations, law enforcement, and government agencies in order to increase the identification and protection of human trafficking victims and to raise public awareness about human trafficking in the Sacramento region.  In January, Congresswoman Matsui sent a letter to the ORR in support of SETA’s application for this grant.

“While it might be easy to think of human trafficking as a problem that exists somewhere overseas, in faraway or foreign place, the unfortunate truth is that human trafficking also occurs right here in our hometown,” said Congresswoman Matsui.  “This federal grant will help Sacramento non-profit organizations and local government agencies partner in the fight against human trafficking in our community, and allow local agencies to better identify and protect victims.”

SETA operates the Sacramento Rescue & Restore Coalition in collaboration with local organizations Opening Doors, Inc., My Sister’s House, and Women Escaping a Violent Environment (WEAVE).  Opening Doors conducts community awareness activities and provides services to victims of human trafficking.  My Sister’s House also conducts outreach and assists in providing culturally appropriate services to Asian and Pacific Islander victims.  WEAVE provides 24 hour emergency response to victims and assists law enforcement agencies.  As the grantee, SETA will serve as the regional focal point and be responsible for continuing to lead the Coalition, conducting public awareness activities, and providing training and technical assistance on human trafficking issues to local organizations. 

“Since 2009, the Sacramento Rescue & Restore Regional Program has gained knowledge of potential human trafficking in the Sacramento region, built key relationships, established service systems for victims, and raised awareness of human trafficking” said Kathy Kossick, Executive Director for SETA.  “This renewed funding will allow the Rescue and Restore Coalition, SETA and its partners, Opening Doors, My Sister’s House and WEAVE, to intensify outreach and training efforts to result in greater victim identification and connection to services.” 

SETA has received similar federal support in recent years. 

To learn more about the work of the Coalition, click here.  For more information on Rep. Matsui’s work in Congress, visit www.matsui.house.gov.

 

From:  http://matsui.house.gov/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=3069:rep-matsui-announces-up-to-862k-in-federal-grants-to-combat-human-trafficking-in-sacramento-region&catid=45:2011-news

HHS Awards Grants for the Rescue and Restore Victims of Human Trafficking Regional Program

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July 6, 2011

 

HHS Awards Grants for the

Rescue and Restore Victims of Human Trafficking Regional Program

 

 

The Administration for Children and Families (ACF) within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) awarded $3 million in grants to eleven organizations for its Rescue and Restore Victims of Human Trafficking Regional Program. 

 

The central purpose of these grants is to increase the identification and protection of human trafficking victims in the United States and to increase public awareness about human trafficking.  Grantees will serve as regional focal points for an intensification of local outreach to and identification of victims of severe forms of trafficking in persons.  The grantees are responsible for leading or participating in an anti-human trafficking coalition, conducting public awareness activities, and providing training and technical assistance on human trafficking issues to local organizations.  Each grantee must sub-award at least 60 percent of grant funds received to local organizations that can identify and/or work with victims of human trafficking. 

The funds, administered by ACF’s Office of Refugee Resettlement, were awarded to the following organizations:

  • Colorado Legal Services (Colo.) – $300,000
  • Fresno County Economic Opportunities Commission (Calif.) – $241,667
  • Healing Place Church Serve (La.) – $239,750
  • Houston Rescue and Restore Coalition (Tex.) – $298,000
  • International Institute of St. Louis (Mo.) – $292,300
  • International Rescue Committee (N.Y.) – $300,000
  • Mosaic Family Services (Tex.) – $291,971
  • Pacific Gateway Center (Hawaii) – $150,000
  • Sacramento Employment and Training Agency (Calif.) – $287,412
  • Safe Horizon, Inc. – (N.Y.) – $298,900
  • SAGE Project, Inc. (Calif.) – $300,000

 

 

Kind regards,

Maggie Wynne

Director, Anti-Trafficking in Persons Division

Rescue & Restore

www.acf.hhs.gov/trafficking

National Human Trafficking Resource Center • 1-888-3737-888

Look Beneath the Surface

A new video from our friends at the San Jose Police Department

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Media Advisory

 HUMAN TRAFFICKING AWARENESS VIDEO TO RUN
IN SOUTH BAY MOVIE THEATERS BEGINNING APRIL 1st

San Jose Police, partners, create and launch video to educate movie-goers
about modern-day slavery
In an effort to raise the public’s awareness of modern-day slavery, the San Jose Police Department’s Human Trafficking Task Force, working with the South Bay Coalition to End Human Trafficking, the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office and federal agencies, will begin showing a 60-second video in South Bay movie theaters on April 1st. The public service announcement encourages persons to take action if they suspect a human trafficking situation by phoning the National Human Trafficking Hotline (1-888-3737-888). The campaign is made possible through a grant from the United States Department of Justice / Bureau of Justice Assistance.

The awareness campaign will run for 12 weeks, in 13 theaters, on over 90 screens, including the Eastridge Mall 15, Mercado 20, Oakridge 20, Salinas Northridge Mall 14, and Santa Cruz 9.

Since 2005 the SJPD task force has partnered with the South Bay Coalition to End Human Trafficking to identify and rescue victims of trafficking, provide comprehensive services to trafficking survivors, train law enforcement, and increase the public’s awareness of trafficking. The task force and coalition bring together federal and local law enforcement agencies with victim-services professionals to provide a multi-disciplinary response for trafficking victims in the four South Bay counties; Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, San Benito, and Monterey.

The video was designed by SJPD Police Artist Gil Zamora, and features original music and lyrics by San Jose musician Alyssa Rose.

The video can be viewed at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tw_rl8js810

The issue of modern-day slavery has been a focus of the U.S. Department of Justice since 2000, when Congress passed the Trafficking Victims Protection Act. The act defined trafficking as the obtaining of labor, or the act of commercial sexual exploitation, of a person through force, fraud, or coercion. A grant program created in 2005 funds 40 collaborative efforts nationwide. According to the 2010 Trafficking in Persons Report, issued by the Department of State, 12.3 million people are held in forced or bonded labor, or forced prostitution, worldwide.

According to South Bay Coalition to End Human Trafficking chairwoman Perla Flores, “Under the Trafficking Victims Protect Act, victims are guaranteed certain rights and services, such as immigration benefits, medical services, and pro bono or low-cost legal assistance. Working with the South Bay Coalition to End Human Trafficking, we are able to assist victims in reclaiming their inherent rights to safety, security, and hope.”

The South Bay Coalition to End Human Trafficking is a collaborative of local victim-services providers including the Katharine and George Alexander Community Law Center, Next Door Solutions to Violence, Community Solutions, the YWCA of Silicon Valley, and others, and is funded through a grant from the U.S. DOJ / Office for Victims of Crime.

Law enforcement task force members include the San Jose Police, FBI, ICE, the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office, the United States Attorney’s Office, and the United States Department of Labor.

Additional information can be found at the following:

SJPD HTTF: www.sjpd.org/stopht
South Bay Coalition to End Human Trafficking: www.sbcteht.com
National Human Trafficking Resource Center: www.polarisproject.org
National Hotline:
888-3737-888
(maintained by the Polaris Project)

Human trafficking is here – help fight it

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By Joan Markoff and David Blicker
Special to The Bee
Published: Sunday, Jan. 9, 2011 – 12:00 am | Page 5E

Although slavery in the United States officially ended in 1865, the little known, painful reality is that today, 146 years later, Sacramento is a city plagued by human trafficking. In fact, Sacramento is among 18 medium-sized U.S. cities identified as a hub for human trafficking and is among the top five cities experiencing an epidemic of child prostitution, according to an FBI report.

Sacramento has all the characteristics that make it particularly appealing to traffickers. It has a large immigrant population that is susceptible to exploitation; it is located conveniently on the I-5 corridor at the intersection of Interstate 80 and Highway 50; and as the gateway to the Central Valley, it is home to a multitude of major agricultural employers hungry for field laborers.

Modern day slavery isn’t just a local problem; it’s a national and international one as well. According to CIA estimates, 15,000 to 17,500 people are trafficked into the United States every year. The U.S State Department estimates that 600,000 to 800,000 victims are trafficked annually across international borders worldwide.

Human trafficking is the fastest growing criminal enterprise in the 21st century, ranking second after drug smuggling. It is estimated to be a $9 billion industry. The U.S. is one of the top three destination points for trafficked victims, and California, New York, Texas and Nevada are the top destination states.

Contrary to popular opinion, trafficking isn’t just limited to the sex trade. It also appears in the form of domestic servitude, sweatshop factories and migrant agricultural work. Traffickers use violence, fraud and coercion to compel women, men and children into slavery. Many of these victims do not speak or understand English and are unable to communicate with anyone who might be able to help them.

There are two components to an effective community strategy for combating slavery and human trafficking: education and funding of appropriate support services. Although slavery is illegal and law enforcement works tirelessly to eradicate this crime, it is still easily concealed. Accordingly, it is vital that members of the public are educated about the existence and signs of trafficking in their community.

In many cases, human trafficking victims are able to escape because neighbors and community members have correctly identified the warning signs and reported their suspicions to local law enforcement. A well-funded social services network is the second component of a successful strategy.

Only when victims are confident they will be guaranteed protection and a realistic opportunity to reside independently in the community, will they come forward. Adequately funded support services specifically dedicated to protecting and integrating survivors into society is critical to any effective campaign to ending human trafficking.

Sacramento has a limited but committed network of support services that work to educate the public and assist victims of human trafficking to integrate into society. The Rescue & Restore Coalition is a group of agencies, nongovernmental organizations and individuals who work to provide basic life support such as food, shelter, clothing and social services to survivors of human trafficking in Sacramento. The lead members of the coalition are Opening Doors Inc., the Sacramento Employment and Training Agency, WEAVE and My Sister’s House, each providing direct services to victims of human trafficking.

Freedom is our most treasured and fundamental principle of human rights. We have an obligation as a community to ensure that Sacramento does not become a haven for human traffickers. Join us by attending any one of the events we are hosting in January and by spreading the word that the citizens of Sacramento will not tolerate slavery in their own backyard.

FOR MORE INFORMATION

Opening Doors Inc. is coordinating a series of educational events to inform the community about human trafficking. The campaign culminates in an event titled “Human Trafficking in Our Own Backyard” at 6 p.m. Jan. 20 at the activities and recreation center at the University of California, Davis.

This event will consist of training, speakers and written testimonies of survivors of human trafficking.

Further information about events held in January can be found at:

HOTLINE

For victims and community members seeking services or advice, call (916) 920-2952.”

from:  http://www.sacbee.com/2011/01/09/3308280/human-trafficking-is-here-help.html

Presidential Proclamation–National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month

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The White House

Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release
December 22, 2010

Presidential Proclamation–National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month

Our Nation was founded on the enduring principles of equality and freedom for all.  As Americans, it is our solemn responsibility to honor and uphold this legacy.  Yet, around the world and even within the United States, victims of modern slavery are deprived of the most basic right of freedom.  During National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month, we rededicate ourselves to preventing and ending human trafficking, and we recognize all who continue to fight this serious human rights violation.

Human trafficking is a global travesty that takes many forms.  Whether forced labor or sexual trafficking, child soldiering or involuntary domestic servitude, these abuses are an affront to our national conscience, and to our values as Americans and human beings.  There is no one type of victim — men and women, adults and children are all vulnerable.  From every corner of our Nation to every part of the globe, we must stand firm in defense of freedom and bear witness for those exploited by modern slavery.

At the start of each year, Americans commemorate the Emancipation Proclamation, which became effective on January 1, 1863, and the 13th Amendment, which was signed by President Abraham Lincoln and sent to the States for ratification on February 1, 1865.  These seminal documents secured the promise of freedom for millions enslaved within our borders, and brought us closer to perfecting our Union.  We also recall that, over 10 years ago, the Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act of 2000 renewed America’s commitment to combating modern slavery domestically and internationally.  With this law, America reaffirmed the fundamental promise of “forever free” enshrined within the Emancipation Proclamation.

We cannot strengthen global efforts to end modern slavery without first accepting the responsibility to prevent, identify, and aggressively combat this crime at home.  No country can claim immunity from the scourge of human rights abuses, or from the responsibility to confront them.  As evidence of our dedication to a universal struggle against this heinous practice, the Department of State’s “Trafficking in Persons Report 2010″ included America in its rankings for the first time, measuring our efforts by the same standards to which we hold other nations.  Looking ahead, we must continue to aggressively investigate and prosecute human trafficking cases within our own borders.

Although the United States has made great strides in preventing the occurrence of modern slavery, prosecuting traffickers and dismantling their criminal networks, and protecting victims and survivors, our work is not done.  We stand with those throughout the world who are working every day to end modern slavery, bring traffickers to justice, and empower survivors to reclaim their rightful freedom.  This month, I urge all Americans to educate themselves about all forms of modern slavery and the signs and consequences of human trafficking.  Together, we can combat this crime within our borders and join with our partners around the world to end this injustice.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim January 2011 as National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month, culminating in the annual celebration of National Freedom Day on February 1.  I call upon the people of the United States to recognize the vital role we can play in ending modern slavery and to observe this month with appropriate programs and activities.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this twenty-second day of December, in the year of our Lord two thousand ten, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-fifth.

BARACK OBAMA

From: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2010/12/22/presidential-proclamation-national-slavery-and-human-trafficking-prevent