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Press Release

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Press Release

Press Release:  Contra Costa District Attorney and Zero Tolerance for Human Trafficking announce the

Contra Costa County Anti-Human Trafficking Campaign 2014

Press Conference: Thursday, January 16, 11:00 A.M.

Contra Costa District Attorney’s Office

900 Ward Street, Martinez

 

   January is “Anti-Human Trafficking” month in Contra Costa County, designed to raise awareness of this $32 billion-a-year worldwide criminal enterprise.  Along with the Board of Supervisors’ Zero Tolerance for Human Trafficking Initiative, the District Attorney announces its month-long campaign to bring the message home:  “Human Trafficking Is Real in Contra Costa County.”  The District Attorney and Zero Tolerance Committee will be holding a press conference on Thursday, January 16th to discuss the public awareness campaign.

Human trafficking involves the selling and using of humans for sex trade, often times soliciting and then ensnaring children as young as 12 to 13 years old.  Commercial sex rings and selling young women and men has become a profitable trade for traditional street gangs, replacing the harder-to-find commodities of drugs and weapons.  The internet and technological advances also come into play, whereby criminals use social media to recruit young victims, and then use social media to advertise, communicate with, and meet customers.    Human Trafficking also occurs with the exploitation of individuals in the work-force.  Men, women, and even children, are forced into providing services or labor for an individual or a business by the use of force, fear, fraud, or duress, essentially turning them into modern-day slaves.  Human Trafficking is the world’s second most profitable criminal enterprise, as has been pointed out by California Attorney General Kamala Harris.  California has the dubious distinction of having one of the nation’s “top 4 destination states” for trafficking human beings. 

It is vital that outreach and social services work to combat this ever-growing problem.  It is critical that law enforcement receive training and investigative tools to identify and catch these predators.  During the next month, Contra Costa County will be displaying billboards in the streets of Richmond, advertisements in bus shelters throughout the county, and posters at the bus and BART railways throughout the county.  All of this is intended to alert the public of the growing problem of Human Trafficking.  Together, with information, knowledge, and resources, the people of Contra Costa County can work together to STOP Human Trafficking.

 

Mark Peterson

District Attorney

Contra Costa County

 

For more information, please contact Bobbi Spinola at 925-957-2214, bspinola@contracostada.org

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