California groups outline efforts to fight slavery and human trafficking

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SAN DIEGO (Border Report) — Several advocacy groups, law enforcement agencies and other officials discussed steps they’re taking to combat slavery and human trafficking along the border and across the United States.

Representatives from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Homeland Security, Federal Bureau of Investigations as well as the mayor of San Francisco participated in the teleconference late Friday morning, which coincided with Monday’s National Human Trafficking Awareness Day.

In fact, January 2021 has been designated as National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month.

San Francisco Mayor London Breed talked about policies and measures her city is implementing to reduce the number of victims.

San Francisco Mayor London Breed.

“All of our environmental health inspectors in our department of public health will be trained to recognize the signs of human trafficking during their inspections of residential hotels, restaurants, bars and other sites,” Breed said. “They will be required to report their findings immediately to our San Francisco Police Department for an investigation.”

Breed also talked about signs that are being installed at San Francisco’s airport to help victims break away from their captors.

“These signs in multiple languages have been installed on 1,000 bathroom stall doors in the restaurants at San Francisco International Airport.”

Breed and others are encouraging people to learn about human trafficking and how to spot the signs of trafficking. They say it’s also a time to spread the word in workplaces, churches, schools and within family and friends.

Trafficking victims reportedly are often lured into another country by false promises and may not easily trust others.

They may:

  • Be fearful of police/authorities
  • Be fearful of the trafficker, believing their lives or family members’ lives are at risk if they escape
  • Exhibit signs of physical and psychological trauma e.g. anxiety, lack of memory of recent events, bruising, untreated conditions
  • Be fearful of telling others about their situation
  • Be unaware they have been trafficked and believe they are simply in a bad job
  • Have limited freedom of movement
  • Be unpaid or paid very little
  • Have limited access to medical care
  • Seem to be in debt to someone
  • Have no passport or mention that someone else is holding their passport
  • Be regularly moved to avoid detection
  • Believe they are being controlled by use of witchcraft

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