The California Legislature has passed Cast’s $30 million request to fund human trafficking victim service providers over the next three years. This $30 million will provide emergency funding for survivors of human trafficking amidst the COVID-19 pandemic and its aftermath to ensure survivors in every part of the state have a place to go for safety, support, and services.
This additional $30M comes at a time when numbers of urgent human trafficking cases are at an all-time high. The existing $10 million per year of on-going state funding to human trafficking victim service providers is not enough to handle the escalating needs of survivors and their families. Because of this advocacy, the total state budget funding for these programs over the next three years will equal $60 million. This increase will provide more resources to adequately address the needs of survivors in California where human trafficking cases are the highest among any state.
Since the start of the pandemic, Cast has seen a 455% increase in costs for providing basic necessities and housing in comparison to the same time of year in 2019. Service providers are now facing an unprecedented shortfall of resources with an outsized demand for direct services. This budget request is a direct response to the COVID-19 pandemic that exposed the heightened risk of trafficking exploitation and how the pandemic is impacting survivors who are facing extreme barriers to safety, health services, housing, and employment.
Our work does not end here. Cast provides a collaborative platform to lead groundbreaking policy change, and we need your support more than ever to continue our advocacy for survivors. Join us as a supporter today!
We would like to thank the following champions for leading the fight for state budget funding to support human trafficking survivors and service providers in California.
Governor Gavin Newsom
Assemblymember Miguel Santiago
Assemblymember Cristina Garcia
Assemblymember Phil Ting
Senator Henry Stern
Senator Maria Elena Durazo
Senator Nancy Skinner
Attorney General Rob Bonta
UNODC Goodwill Ambassador Mira Sorvino
UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Alyssa Milano
Cast Ambassador Kate Bosworth
Cast Ambassador Nicole Scherzinger
Pro Bono Counsel Cher Gonzalez of Resolute
The Coalition to Abolish Slavery and Trafficking (Cast) is a Los Angeles-based nonprofit organization that is ending human trafficking through education, advocacy, and empowering survivors. We provide comprehensive and transformative services to survivors and their families, and mobilize our coalition partners to advocate for groundbreaking policy and social change. To find out more visit: www.castla.org/human-trafficking/policy/