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SUPPORT POLICY

Everyone has the power to affect anti-trafficking policy at the local, state and federal levels. Let your elected officials know you expect them to pass legislation that will protect and serve victims of human trafficking.

In 2008, CAST founded the California Legislative Collaborative on Human Trafficking (CLCHT). The CLCHT is a forum for practitioners, experts, and those interested in human trafficking in California to come together to discuss current trafficking related legislation in California and receive insight and guidance on policy advocacy.

The call is the last Friday of every month from 11 AM-12 PM PST/2-4 PM EST.

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CAST is a founding member of the Freedom Network and the Alliance to End Slavery & Trafficking (ATEST).



Policy Initiatives

$15 Million California Budget Allocation

ACTION ALERT: Fax your letters of support for the $15 million budget request for specialized services, training and technical assistance, prevalence study and evaluation/modeling of best practices in serving victims of human trafficking.

Estimates from service providers in California show that it costs about $19,608 annually to serve one human trafficking survivor comprehensively with wraparound services that include case management, shelter, basic needs, and legal services. Each program can serve on average 40 survivors per year, at a total cost of $784,320 per program per year. With $15 million invested on a continuing annual basis, California would be able to fund a comprehensive package of shelter and services for 16 organizations per year, serving upwards of 3,520 victims over six years. Of the $15 million, approximately $2.45 million per year would be used for technical assistance, training, program evaluation and data collection to strengthen programs and contribute to trafficking prevention.

Senate Budget Subcommittee No. 4
Senator Richard D. Roth (Chair)
Fax: (916) 668-7004 916

Assembly Budget Subcommittee No. 5
Assemblymember Shirley Weber (Chair)
Fax: (916) 319-2199

Template letter of support Factsheet Impact Survey

Trafficking Survivors Relief Act

ACTION ALERT: Ask your Senators and Federal Representatives to CO-SPONSOR the Trafficking Survivors Relief Act S. 104 and H.R. 459 TODAY

On September 28, 2016 Congresswomen Ann Wagner (R-MO) and Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI), and Senators Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and Rob Portman (R-OH), introduced new bipartisan legislation, the Trafficking Survivors Relief Act of 2016, which enables human trafficking victims to clear federal convictions from their records for crimes that traffickers forced them to commit.

In January of 2017, Congresswoman Ann Wagner (R-MO), along with Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) and Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner (R-WI) and Senators Rob Portman (R-OH), and Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY, reintroduced the bipartisan Trafficking Survivors Relief Act. This Act enables human trafficking victims to clear federal convictions from their records for crimes that traffickers forced them to commit.

Senate Bill Text House Bill Text Bill Summary

Stop, Observe, Ask and Respond (SOAR) to Health and Wellness Act

ACTION ALERT: "CAST strongly supports the reintroduction of the SOAR Act, which is an important legislative step in ensuring our medical professional have the tools they need to best assist survivors." – Stephanie Richard, Policy & Legal Services Director, CAST

The Stop, Observe, Ask and Respond (SOAR) to Health and Wellness Act was introduced in January 2017 by U.S. Senator Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND) and U.S. Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) in the Senate and Congressman Steve Cohen (D-TN), Congressman Adam Kinzinger (R-IL), Congressman Tony Cárdenas (D-CA) and Congresswoman Ann Wagner (R-MO) in the House. The bill helps to ensure medical professionals are trained to identify and help victims of human trafficking.

Full Senate Bill Text Bill Summary CAST Support Letter

Crime Victims: The California Victim Compensation Board

ACTION ALERT: ..."receiving lost wages from the Board would help survivors [like me] to provide for their loved ones and cover personal and basic needs like educational classes, to become a self-sufficient individual that can be restored and reintegrated to society in a positive way." - Rafael Bautista

While existing California laws allows the VCP to compensate human trafficking survivors for such things as mental health support, as well as medical and relocation expenses, and while the VCP is currently statutorily allowed to compensate victims for income lost as direct result of the crime, to date no trafficking survivors have been able to recover for the income they have lost during their trafficking experience. Given the unique nature of trafficking crimes, survivors are not able to provide the sort of documentation requested by the VCP to recover compensation for lost income. Current VCP rules require formal evidence of employment – e.g., documentation from the Tax Board, workers’ compensation carriers, or employers (the traffickers themselves) – that are impossible to satisfy in nearly every human trafficking case. Requiring survivors who were exploited as modern-day slaves to provide this type of evidence effectively precludes them from obtaining lost income compensation. AB 900 amends the law to expressly state that the VCP may compensate human trafficking survivors for income loss suffered for the period of time that the survivors were forced to labor with little or no pay. The bill also would ensure that human trafficking survivors can rely on evidence other than official employment documentation to support their applications for lost income compensation.

Full Bill Text

Policy Successes

2016

AB 1761 Human Trafficking Victims Affirmative Defense (California)

AB 1761 puts in place an important additional protection for victims to ensure they are not convicted of crimes their traffickers force them to commit. It also strengthens the ability of the judicial system to more fully describe the complexity of this crime through expert testimony.

Full Bill Text Bill Summary

$10M State Budget Allocation (California)

The $10 million state budget allocation ensures that all victims of modern slavery in California receive the comprehensive services and support they need. This request will also ensure appropriate training and technical assistance is provided to first responders and service providers, and that California can better understand the prevalence of human trafficking in our state and how to create effective programs to support victims.

Bill Summary Letter of Support

2015

Survivors of Human Trafficking Empowerment Act (Federal)

The Survivors of Human Trafficking Empowerment Act established the U.S. Advisory Council on Human Trafficking. The Council consists of 8-14 survivors of human trafficking from diverse backgrounds and experiences, in order to provide recommendations to the U.S. Government to strengthen U.S. federal policy and programming efforts that reflect the best practices in the field.

Full Bill Text Bill Summary NSN Press Release

$10M State Budget Allocation (California)

The $10 million state budget allocation ensures that all victims of modern slavery in California receive the comprehensive services and support they need. This request will also ensure appropriate training and technical assistance is provided to first responders and service providers, and that California can better understand the prevalence of human trafficking in our state and how to create effective programs to support victims.

Bill Summary Letter of Support

2014

SB 477 Foreign Labor Contracts: Registration (California)

SB477 seeks to prevent human trafficking and forced labor of foreign workers resulting from the exploitative and abusive practices of foreign labor contractors by requiring registration of foreign labor contractors and the use of registered contractors by employers seeking to hire foreign workers. In addition, the bill requires full and fair disclosure of working conditions to foreign workers.

Full Bill Text Bill Summary

2013

Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act (Federal)

The TVPRA directly funds the majority of the victim service programs in the United States through the Department of Justice and the Department of Health and Human Services. The TVPRA of 2011 also makes several improvements to our criminal and immigration laws to better protect trafficking survivors and help them seek justice.

Full Bill Text Bill Summary

2012

SB 1193 Human Trafficking: Public Posting Requirements (California)

Members of CAST’s survivor leadership program know first-hand that access to a human-trafficking hotline number can mean the difference between slavery and freedom. So, in 2010, this group of survivors decided to make a human trafficking hotline poster an advocacy priority. With many partners and activists beside them, CAST survivors and staff wrote letters and spoke to legislators in Sacramento.

A year later, CAST became an original co-sponsor of SB 1193: Human Trafficking: Public Posting Requirements, which became a state law in 2012. SB 1193 requires the public posting of the phone numbers of the National Human Trafficking Hotline and the Coalition to Abolish Slavery & Trafficking’s Hotline in mass transit hubs, emergency rooms, bars and other establishments.

Although the law went into effect in April 2013, the work was not done. So, in early 2014 CAST and a coalition of partners launched a grass-roots campaign to implement this law. Together with the National Council of Jewish Women/LA (NCJW), T’ruah. Jewish Labor Committee, Oasis USA and the law firm Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP, CAST led a series of trainings to prepare volunteers to go out into their communities and distribute the hotline posters.

CAST worked together with Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher to identify the businesses who must comply with SB 1193. The District Attorney and City Attorney are standing behind this effort and are sending out compliance notices to the required businesses.

Review the District Attorney’s and City Attorney’s Compliance Letter.

SB 1193 posters are available upon request from NCJW/LA, who generously funded the printing of the posters. They are also available for in-house printing with this 11x17 file.

Full Bill Text Bill Summary Roadmap to Implementation

SB 657 California Transparency in Supply Chains Act

SB657 is a crucial step in reducing the demand for slave made products by providing a tool for consumers, including businesses, to better know how products are made. By providing a mechanism for concerned consumers to be able to compare company efforts on forced labor and human trafficking in their “supply chains,” people can make more informed decisions to spend their hard-earned dollars with the more responsible company.

Full Bill Text Bill Summary

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