The Los Angeles City Council voted unanimously Friday to require certain businesses to post contact information for people to report human trafficking.
The notices will have information such as a human trafficking hotline number. The businesses that will be required to post the information include adult or “sexually oriented businesses,” primary airports, bus stations, urgent care centers, truck stops, lodging facilities and more.
Anti-human-trafficking advocates Journey Out, the Coalition to Abolish Slavery and Trafficking Los Angeles, and the City Attorney’s Office helped craft the new laws, according to City Council President Nury Martinez, who championed the effort.
“We know for a fact that women caught in the nightmare of human trafficking seek help in higher numbers when they see posters with hotline and local service phone numbers,” Martinez said. “We need to do everything in our power to end the sexual, physical and mental abuse that these women endure daily, and I thank (state Sen. Henry) Stern, City Attorney Mike Feuer and our amazing advocates and nonprofit partners… for their work, dedication and diligence.”
CAST reported that its data shows the more human trafficking information is posted, the more it receives calls from trafficking victims.
In the first year California enacted posting laws in 2013, CAST said its hotline received 22 calls in which the caller claimed to have learned of the organization from a public posting. Four years later, that number increased to 222.
“Today’s council action is an important step in our fight to combat human trafficking,” City Attorney Mike Feuer said. “My office will enforce the ordinance, and I’m grateful for the partnership with Council President Martinez and Senator Stern that led to this milestone.”
Additionally, the council president said she launched a women’s toiletry drive for victims of human trafficking earlier this month, and all items received will benefit women served by CAST and Journey Out.
The drive ends Feb. 6, and donations can be left at any of the council president’s offices in Los Angeles City Hall, Sun Valley and Van Nuys.
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