January is National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month. Since 2010, we have used the month of January to raise awareness about trafficking in our community. Throughout the month, we will talk about the federal Trafficking Victims Protection Act, provide updates on California laws that help survivors, share what we’ve been up to, and give our thoughts on how to focus on prevention.
To start, the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000, was the first comprehensive federal law to address human trafficking. The TVPA addressed existing gaps in the legal framework by creating new criminal offenses and establishing victim protections. The law created a three-pronged approach of prevention, protection, and prosecution. Communities have prosecuted traffickers and created more robust systems to serve victims. While there is still work to do, we have come a long way. It is now time to make a commitment to prevention – the third prong. We knew it 22 years ago when the TVPA was first enacted, and we know it now, prevention is the key to keeping our community members safe and free from exploitation.
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