CAST and partners lead local efforts to raise awareness during National Slavery and Human Trafficking Awareness Month

For a second year, President Obama has once again proclaimed the month of January 2011 as National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month. In the proclaimation's opening paragraph, President Obama states:

" Our Nation was founded on the enduring principles of equality and freedom for all. As Americans, it is our solemn responsibility to honor and uphold this legacy. Yet, around the world and even within the United States, victims of modern slavery are deprived of the most basic right of freedom. During National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month, we rededicate ourselves to preventing and ending human trafficking, and we recognize all who continue to fight this serious human rights violation."

 CAST was founded in 1998 as the first organization in the United States to dedicated to exclusively address human trafficking. Born out of the infamous El Monte sweatshop case, in which 72 Thai garment workers were enslaved in a suburban sweatshop for up to 8 years, CAST now coordinates with multiple agencies and organizations to effectively provide direct services and advocacy for survivors of human trafficking.

 "It is important that we continue to work as a broad coalition to increase awareness at the community level that human trafficking and slavery-like practices are occuring right here in our own backyard. CAST partners with community based organizations across the country to help respond to cases of human trafficking and to help educate communities about how to identify it and what their rights are." states Kay Buck, Executive Director at CAST.  CAST coordinates a coalition called the Key-2- Freedom Alliance, made up of multi-ethnic community based and faith based organizations across Los Angeles and surrounding counties.  CAST is also a founding member of the Los Angeles Metro Task Force on Human Trafficking, a multi-agency consortium created to address the problem of human trafficking in the greater Los Angeles area.

 In partnership with the Key 2 Freedom Alliance and the LA Metro Task Force, CAST is organizing a Freedom Walk on January 11th,  to  commemorate National Human Trafficking Awareness Day. The walk will begin at 10am, at the Cathedral of Our Lady of Angels in downtown Los Angeles, and will end at historic Olvera Street, where a Freedom Fair, complete with information booths, presentations and activities will be held from 11-2pm.

 2011 National Human Trafficking Awareness Day Flyer.pdf

The attached flyer includes more information about the activities and how to sign up.  CAST encourages everyone to participate in raising awareness this month by hosting events, screening a film, and utilizing social media platforms to help educate your friends and community about the issue. For resources and information about human trafficking, please visit CAST's website at .  Information on a number of events throughout the month can be found CAST's calendar page.