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In the News

News Archive

2023-2024 Stanton Fellowship


The Stanton Fellowship 2023-2024 cohort: Doug Bond, Tony Brown, Kay Buck, Dr. Andrea Garcia, Joel Garcia, and EJ Hill.  The Durfee Foundation has announced that Kay Buck, CEO of the Coalition to Abolish Slavery and Trafficking, is one of six recipients of the 2023-2024 Durfee Stanton Fellowship.  The Fellowship aims...

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Survivor Stories: Meet Daniela


Daniela came to the US to escape police brutality in El Salvador. She never expected to face even greater hardships.  Nothing is better than loving and being loved When Daniela entered Cast, she had been making good progress in her recovery from her trafficking experience and was happy to have...

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Open Letter to CBP on Trade Data Transparency


October 20, 2022 Below is a joint open letter to the Commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) calling on CBP to demonstrate its continued commitment to combating forced labor in global supply chains by rejecting a proposal by driven by industry groups as part of the Commercial Customs...

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Support Survivors on Labor Day


This Labor Day, Cast’s Managing Attorney shares an open letter about a special labor trafficking survivor, Gabriel.  Dear Friend, Since I started as an attorney at Cast in 2017, Labor Day has been a difficult holiday. I love a cookout as much as anyone, but I feel conflicted about celebrating...

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Assemblymember Tim Grayson and the Coalition to Abolish Slavery & Trafficking Introduce Comprehensive Bill to Combat California’s Human Trafficking Crisis


(SACRAMENTO, CA) – Today, Assemblymember Tim Grayson (D-Concord) introduced AB 2553, sponsored by the Coalition to Abolish Slavery and Trafficking, which would establish the California Multidisciplinary Alliance to Stop Trafficking Act (California MAST). This bill aims to examine and evaluate existing programs and outreach for survivors and victims of human...

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Human Trafficking PSA: Nicole Scherzinger & California Attorney General Rob Bonta


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1iJV21y55bc Human trafficking awareness should happen every day of the year so we are ending Human Trafficking Prevention Month with this important PSA in partnership with California Attorney General Rob Bonta and Performer and Cast Ambassador Nicole Scherzinger. Survivors need and deserve our help, not just in January, but all...

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More Than Giving Back, More Than A Shelter


Dear Friends, When I think about the holidays, I think about home--about that feeling of security and trust, of knowing that the people around you love you unconditionally. I think about how Cast creates a feeling of home for survivors that opens the door to their journey to freedom and...

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Sri Yatun’s Escape


Every year, more than a thousand domestic workers are brought to the U.S. by diplomats and other foreign officials. What happens when those workers face abuse? Sri Yatun in California. She remembers wearing the baby around her like a shield. Taking care of him was part of her job: Sri...

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Honoring Labor Day with Cast


Aisha shares her story of resilience this Labor Day.  Dear Friend, I will never forget the moment I entered Cast’s transitional shelter, Mariposa Haven. After years of being cut off from my family, denied control over my time, deprived of privacy and rest, I knew that this new place, a...

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California has a chance to fix its human trafficking problem


Farm workers in a California strawberry field. (Photo: F Armstrong Photography, via Shutterstock) The California Senate will vote soon on AB 364 by Assemblyman Freddie Rodriguez. The Foreign Labor Contractor Registration bill is a quiet piece of legislation with the potential to speak loudly to our values and commitment to human...

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Trapped In Diplomatic Limbo


Featured image by AP Photo/Marco Ugarte. In June 2002, Germania boarded a plane from Quito, Ecuador, to Washington, D.C. She was traveling to work for Verónica Peña, an Ecuadorian diplomat, caring for her home and her two children. Prior to her arrival in the U.S., Germania had been presented with...

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Cast Opens New Shelter for Survivors of Human Trafficking During the Pandemic


The Coalition to Abolish Slavery and Trafficking (Cast) was awarded $3.54 million from the City of Los Angeles Housing and Community Investment Department (HCID) to purchase additional housing for survivors of human trafficking.   “We are fortunate to have a leader on human trafficking like CAST in our city, where we...

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$30 Million in State Funding to Support Survivors of Human Trafficking


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...

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Cast Announces Human Trafficking Budget Relief At Press Conference


PRESS CONFERENCE TODAY: The Coalition to Abolish Slavery and Trafficking will Join California Attorney General Rob Bonta, Assemblymember Miguel Santiago, and UNICEF Ambassador Alyssa Milano to Discuss the Importance of Budget Funding for Human Trafficking Victim Service Providers  Los Angeles, California - Kay Buck, CEO for the Coalition to Abolish...

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California: Don’t leave human trafficking victims behind


The COVID-19 pandemic has taken a terrible toll on all Californians. While Gov. Gavin Newsom’s recently announced California Comeback Plan allocates billions of emergency aid funding to those hurt by the pandemic, one group hit harder than most has been left out of the budget proposal: human trafficking victims. I...

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Finding Freedom


During the height of the pandemic, Cast received a call from a young mother, Laila, with 3 children ages 5, 3 and 2 months, who were fleeing their trafficker. Cast’s shelter was full and so were the hotel rooms we had allocated for the COVID-19 overflow of survivors needing emergency...

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Driving Systemic Change: The Dr. John Jain Foundation


For Dr. John Jain, Chief Fertility Specialist at the Santa Monica Fertility Clinic, advocating for the rights of others runs in the family. His sister, the late celebrated human rights activist Sunita Jain, has been his inspiration to support Cast. Dr. Jain takes a humble and entrepreneurial approach to philanthropy....

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There When Survivors Need Her


Emergency Response Case Manager, Alex Mayugba is used to late-night calls. Within 30 minutes of receiving a call, our Emergency Response staff meet victims where they are, no matter the time of day. When stay-at-home orders, economic instability, and disruption of social services forced survivors into increasingly vulnerable and unsafe...

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Cast Is A Place to Belong


Human trafficking festers amid injustice and chaos, and the past year has brought plenty of both. Between the health, racial and economic crises of the pandemic, escalating hate violence, social and political upheaval, and a persistent homelessness crisis, Cast saw an 185% increase in urgent trafficking cases from the same...

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There is no time to waste, #StopAsianHate!


On March 16th, a 21-year-old white man killed eight human beings, six of whom were Asian women. We are heartbroken for the families of the victims and outraged by these increasing acts of violence targeting Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities. Racism, misogyny, and xenophobia are urgent public health issues...

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Cast’s Statement on the Violent Activity at the U.S. Capitol Building


Cast is outraged by the violent attempt to interrupt democracy at our nation’s Capitol on Wednesday, and calls on those responsible to be held accountable. It was nothing short of an insurrection. White nationalists and QAnon conspiracists forced their way into the building and threatened our democracy and the lives...

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Op Ed: Who Holds Space for Black Survivors?


Lyresh McGee | Human Trafficking Survivor Months ago, I woke up to the news of yet another innocent Black man who lost his life to racism. The nightmare didn’t end as the news continued to reveal the deaths of more innocent Black people than I could imagine. The world was...

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LA County Votes to Establish Local Ordinance to Support Crackdown on Human Trafficking


The county ordinance -- which is expected to cover both sex and labor trafficking -- is expected to allow for routine inspections of businesses where trafficking is suspected and fines and penalties for those who fail to post the hotline notice. By City News Service • Published September 15, 2020 • Updated on September 16, 2020 at 1:27...

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Filipino human trafficking survivors urge California Legislature to amend migrant workers’ protections bill


Two Filipino caregivers who were trafficked share their stories and urge all Filipinos to support anti-trafficking legislation Like thousands of Filipinos, Angela Guanzon was attracted to the promise of America. So when she got the opportunity to find gainful employment through a recruiter, she didn’t ask any questions. It’s notoriously...

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Stop Trafficking In Its Tracks


Human trafficking survivors need your help. California is considered one of the largest epicenters of human trafficking in the United States and every day, vulnerable women, children, and men are forced into servitude. Governor Newsom and the Legislature have the opportunity to address this epidemic and provide critical supportive services to...

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Catholic Sisters Lead the Way in the Anti-Trafficking Movement


Human trafficking has many faces. Imagine a teenage girl pressured into prostitution by her boyfriend to pay the rent; a foreign national tricked into domestic servitude with promises of a better life; a fisherman trapped at sea working for wages that never materialize. These are just a few accounts of...

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Jayson’s story: Amend SB 477


My name is Jayson. While I was working in the construction in the Philippines, my uncle received a phone call from a woman and asking for a guy that can work for her. My uncle recommended me and gave the phone to me.  She seems very nice and professional towards...

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What happened to me should never happen to anyone else


Angela is a survivor of labor trafficking in an elder care facility in California. She came in hopes of finding decent work and found herself in modern slavery. This is her story.   I came to the United States with the promise of a good job. In the Philippines, going to the...

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Connecting the Dots


The connection between race and human trafficking The systemic racism occurring in our country and around the world has resurfaced a conversation about racial inequality that is long overdue. As a human rights organization serving Los Angeles, understanding the connection between human trafficking and racial injustice is critical to Cast’s...

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COVID-19: Yet more pain for human trafficking victims


Photo illustration of a child victim of human trafficking. (Photo: 271 EAK MOTO) BY STEPHANIE RICHARD POSTED 06.08.2020 As many Californians struggle with the effects of COVID-19, what this pandemic means for human trafficking victims is their abusers have yet another way to coerce and exploit. Before COVID-19, victims already faced extreme barriers to...

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We Will Not Be Silent!


“All our silences in the face of racist assault are acts of complicity.” - bell hooks We are outraged by the murder of another Black person by law enforcement and we mourn the loss of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and all of our brothers and sisters that have...

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Organization Empowers Survivors Of Human Trafficking


While Mayor Eric Garcetti’s edict for Angelenos to stay home and shelter in place is a good way to flatten the curve on the dreaded coronavirus, it could sound the death knell for someone cooped up with an abuser or human trafficker. “Safer at home is not the right message...

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COVID-19 Impact on Cast and Human Trafficking Survivors


Cast sat down with Legal Services Director, Nagwa Ibrahim, to answer the hard questions about human trafficking and the coronavirus. How is your team responding to the pandemic and the current climate? Since human trafficking does not stop because of a pandemic, our team continues to operate a 24-hour emergency...

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Cast’s doors remain open


Cast's Emergency Response Program Manager, Leigh LaChapelle, pens an open letter to our community partners in change and human trafficking victims. Dear Community Partner, We at Cast want to update our community about our services and the steps we have taken to protect our clients and staff during COVID-19. Cast...

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Governor Newsom Must Provide Specific Funding for Human Trafficking Victims When He Provides Budget Augmentation for those Most at Risk


(LOS ANGELES, CA) – Today, the Coalition to Abolish Slavery and Trafficking (Cast) released the following statement in response to Governor Newsom’s coronavirus-related announcement: “We applaud Governor Newsom for his commitment to at-risk youth, particularly foster children, during the pandemic. However, this narrowly focused investment will not adequately protect all...

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Cast’s Annual ‘Freedom to Slavery’ Gala Postponed


We regret to inform you that we are postponing our annual, “From Slavery to Freedom” gala  - our most important fundraising event of the year that raises funds to ensure the safety and well-being of survivors of human trafficking.  We are now confronting a $750K shortfall while facing the increasing...

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Social Distancing Without Being Alone


If the coronavirus pandemic has revealed anything, it is the stark inequalities vulnerable people endure. Faced with barriers to accessing care that will protect them and their families, human trafficking survivors are looking to Cast as their only resource. As a first responder, Cast is working around the clock to...

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Mayor Garcetti Announces Program to Provide Entrepreneurship Training to Angelenos Experiencing Homelessness


LA: EnterpRISE will provide career and financial literacy training and access to startup funding opportunities  LOS ANGELES — Mayor Eric Garcetti today announced the creation of LA: EnterpRISE, a pilot program to drive entrepreneurship opportunities for Angelenos experiencing housing insecurity or homelessness.   “Every Angeleno should have a chance to nurture their...

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Gillibrand, Portman Announce Bipartisan Legislation to Clear Federal Criminal Records of Human Trafficking Victims


Bill Would Provide Post-Conviction Relief to Victims of Sex Trafficking, Labor Trafficking, and Other Forms of Human Trafficking Washington, DC –U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and U.S. Senator Rob Portman (R-OH), today announced bipartisan legislation, the Trafficking Survivors Relief Act of 2020, which would clear the federal criminal records of the survivors of...

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Protect Migrant Workers from Exploitation


Call on California to revise SB477 Thousands of temporary workers are being trafficked into forced labor in California under threat of violence, deportation, and harm to their families.  California attracts more temporary foreign workers than anywhere else in the US. As the fifth largest global economy, workers on lawful visas from all over the world seek...

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Cast is taking charge to increase California’s investment in human trafficking prevention


California Assembly Members Miguel Santiago (D-53rd), Mike Gipson (D-64th),  Blanca Rubio (D-48th), and Senator Henry Stern (D-27th) introduce comprehensive legislation and budget proposals to ensure California enacts better measures to prevent human trafficking. Los Angeles, California -  The Coalition to Abolish Slavery and Trafficking (Cast) is proud to sponsor two...

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Strengthening the Health Care Response to Human Trafficking


The Center for Violence Prevention and Recovery at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) has launched a new initiative to assist and support individuals exploited through sex and labor trafficking in collaboration with the Center for Community Health and Health Equity’s Violence Intervention and Prevention Programs at Brigham and Women’s...

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Cast receives National Partnership Award


The Los Angeles-based Coalition to Abolish Slavery and Trafficking (Cast) has been named the 2019 National Award Winner of the Mutual of America Community Partnership Award. The Mutual of America Community Partnership Award recognizes outstanding nonprofit organizations in the United States that have shown exemplary leadership by facilitating partnerships with...

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Smith Human Trafficking Victims Compensation Bill Receives Governor’s Signature


SACRAMENTO, CA — Assemblywoman Christy Smith (D-Santa Clarita) is pleased to announce that her Assembly Bill (AB) 629 was signed into law by Governor Gavin Newsom this week as part of the package of bills he signed addressing public safety and supporting victims of crime. The bill creates parity within California’s Victim Compensation Program (VCP)...

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How Sex-Trafficking Survivors Are Locked Out of Victim Funds


To claim lost income, they need a note from their employer—also known as their trafficker. Deborah Pembrook doesn’t remember exactly when she was first sex-trafficked, but she knows it was early—the images of abuse collide in her brain with images of childhood crayons and stuffed animals. When she finally escaped,...

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Assemblywoman Christy Smith Advances Legislation to Help Victims of Human Trafficking


SACRAMENTO – Assemblywoman Christy Smith (D-Santa Clarita) and joint-author Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez (D-San Diego) moved forward AB 629 to help human trafficking victims rebuild their lives. The bill is cosponsored by the Coalition to Abolish Slavery and Trafficking (CAST) and Bet Tzedek Legal Services. Assembly Bill 629 would make human...

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“We’re About to Make Pimps’ Jobs Real Easy”: The Shutdown Has Put Trafficking Victims in Harm’s Way


At Courtney’s House, a Washington, DC, center for young sex trafficking survivors, founder Tina Frundthas been seeing kids every day who are afraid of the government shutdown. They’re worried, she says, that it is affecting the many services they sorely need. She spoke of one 19-year-old she works with who is still in school and...

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Read the joint statement that CAST helped prepare prior to the 2019 State of the Union Address.


The Alliance to End Slavery and Trafficking (ATEST) and the Freedom Network USA, with a combined membership of 80 leading U.S.-based anti-trafficking organizations, advocates and service providers, strongly condemn President Trump’s continued rhetoric attempting to justify a southern border wall in order to stop human trafficking. This misinformation is dangerous...

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Federal Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act (TVPRA) Passes Congress


Every three years CAST and its national advocacy partners, The Alliance to End Slavery and Trafficking (ATEST) and The Freedom Network, USA, work to reauthorize the Federal Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act (TVPRA). The TVPRA, first enacted in 2000, is the most important piece of federal anti-trafficking legislation designed to...

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Jewish Community Foundation of Los Angeles Stands with Survivors


As Thanksgiving approaches, we want to take a moment to give thanks to our partnership with the Jewish Community Foundation of Los Angeles, as they prioritize support for organizations like Cast that are working in the trenches to liberate and empower survivors of human trafficking. Our partnership reflects our mutual...

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It Is Now Even Harder for Trafficking Survivors to Get Visas


Local advocates are struggling with a new immigration memo that makes it more difficult to support these survivors. Rita (not her real name) had gone looking for help. She’s 29, living in Northern California, an immigrant from Honduras, who graduated as a professional makeup artist. “I’m not scared of driving,...

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Thank you for 20 Years of Impact


A huge thank you to everyone who helped us celebrate our milestone 20th anniversary last Thursday- 20 strong years of empowering survivors of human trafficking! Check out the amazing honorees and festivities: 20th AnniversaryCelebration Photos Survivors celebrating freedom at CAST's 20th Anniversary Gala (LEFT). CAST's CEO and Executive Director, Kay...

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In Focus: Modern day slavery


Kay Buck, CEO of the Coalition to Abolish Slavery and Trafficking, sheds light on the fight against human trafficking. In Focus California: SoCal airs Sundays at 8 a.m., and two new episodes of In Focus California: In Your Community will air weekly, on Mondays and Tuesdays at 12 Noon, on...

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New legislation helps human trafficking victims get on their feet


"'Under current regulatory guidance, very few human trafficking victims in California are able to recover lost income through the state’s Victim Compensation Program, despite suffering economic loss due to the crimes committed against them. This legislation would ensure our systems are appropriately recognizing the unique form of commercial exploitation trafficking...

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Bet Tzedek, the Coalition to Abolish Slavery & Trafficking (CAST) and CA State Controller Betty Yee Sponsor First of Its Kind Legislation to Ensure Human Trafficking Survivors Are Compensated for the Value of Their Forced Labor


LOS ANGELES (February 16, 2017) Bet Tzedek, one of the nation’s premiere public interest law firms, the Coalition to Abolish Slavery and Trafficking (CAST), one of the nation’s premiere legal and social service providers for survivors of modern day slavery, and California State Controller Betty Yee are proud to collaborate...

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Senator Stern Bill to Modernize Human Trafficking Hotline Legislation Would Put Hotline Info in Hotels and Allow Victims and Witnesses to Text for Assistance


(Sacramento) – In the wake of a majorhuman trafficking sweep in Los Angeles yielding474 arrests and identifying at least 55 survivors, State Senator Henry Stern introduced legislation supported by a coalition of human trafficking groups, to expand access to hotline services. Backed by the National Council of Jewish Women CA,the...

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Massive Human Trafficking Sting Results in 474 Arrests and 55 Rescues


A human trafficking operation carried out by authorities throughout the state of California resulted in a total of 474 arrests and the rescue of 28 children and 27 adults. Operation Reclaim and Rebuild has been going on for three years, though this is the first year it has gone on...

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Los Angeles cops rescue Filipina in suspected trafficking case


SAN FRANCISCO — After receiving a call from the national Human Trafficking Hotline, police in Los Angeles converged on an apartment home in Los Angeles earlier this month, and rescued a 29-year-old Filipina national who claimed she was being held against her will to work for a Filipino family. Lynne...

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Fourth Annual LA Freedom Walk Raises Awareness of Human Trafficking in Los Angeles


WHAT: The Coalition to Abolish Slavery & Trafficking (CAST) is partnering with Southern California Partners for Global Justice and other community groups to host the fourth annual LA Freedom Walk to raise awareness of human trafficking in Los Angeles and celebrate National Human Trafficking Awareness month (January).  After hearing from...

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