Labor trafficking survivors have long made up a significant number of people trafficked in California and the U.S. As a hidden epidemic, labor trafficking is prevalent in our neighborhoods, cities and rural communities, and economies. Coalition to Abolish Slavery and Trafficking (Cast) has joined forces with the Little Hoover Commission to examine the state of labor trafficking in California under the leadership of California Senate President Pro Tempore, Senator Toni Atkins.
“Labor trafficking is an epidemic that is often neglected in human trafficking conversations, media coverage, and legislation – yet it makes up 48% of our human trafficking cases. We are pleased that Senator Atkins and the Little Hoover Commission are recognizing labor trafficking as a prevailing issue that warrants more attention from policymakers. The workers who are trafficked deserve better.”Cast CEO, Kay Buck.
The Little Hoover Commission, formally known as the Milton Marks “Little Hoover” Commission on California State Government Organization and Economy, is an independent state oversight agency that was created in 1962. The Commission’s purpose is to investigate state government operations and – through reports, recommendations and legislative proposals – promote efficiency, economy and improved service.
The Commission launched its labor trafficking study earlier this year, acknowledging that California’s past efforts have been focused on addressing sex trafficking. With over 20 years of providing life-changing services to thousands of labor trafficking survivors and as leaders representing the rights of these exploited workers, Cast was selected to present testimony will request more resources to better understand all forms of human trafficking in California, propose to update the state’s child welfare system policies to focus on both sex and labor trafficking, and better leverage businesses’ efforts to stop labor trafficking before it begins. (See CAST’s full written recommendations to the Commission here)
The analysis presents Cast’s recommendations on the prevention and early identification of human trafficking through a comprehensive state-wide approach, including a public health framework. The testimony will request more resources to better understand all forms of human trafficking in California, propose to update the state’s child welfare system policies to focus on both sex and labor trafficking, and better leverage businesses’ efforts to stop labor trafficking before it begins. (see more here)
“Our goal is to engage California’s state agencies and legislators on how to more effectively combat labor trafficking and equip key stakeholders with industry-specific evidence to acquire a better understanding of labor trafficking enterprises based on our on the ground experience serving survivors.”Cast Senior Policy Advisor, Stephanie Richard.
The intent of generating and sharing Cast’s data analysis to the Commission is to inspire the state to incorporate more data-driven practices in its work to combat human trafficking. Cast’s data demonstrates the urgency for more attention to be paid to labor trafficking and more strategic efforts to equip key government stakeholders with industry-specific evidence that will provide a better understanding of labor trafficking.
Hosted by Senator Toni Atkins, the Commission and Cast will launch its first public hearing in San Diego to examine the State’s role in identifying and combating labor trafficking on Thursday, November 21. Witnesses will include survivors and public policy leaders including Cast CEO, Kay Buck. The hearing is open to the public, although the Commission requests that those attending register here at Eventbrite.com.