Human trafficking is one of the fastest growing criminal industries in the world, generating over $36 billion in profits to traffickers annually according to some estimates.  Victims of trafficking in the United States include children and adults trapped in forced labor situations and in prostitution, with little hope of escape. 

Unfortunately, the problem of human trafficking and slavery is growing.  Living in California, one is particularly aware of the problem as California, due to our geographic location, ports, diverse population and economic base, has the unfortunate distinction of being a hub for slavery and human trafficking.  In fact, Los Angeles is one of the top three points of entry into this country for victims.  We have a high volume of people brought here from other countries in addition to those already living here who are victimized and exploited.

Please take action to help increase funding for human trafficking survivors by calling the following California Senator and Congressmen on the Commerce, Justice and Science Appropriations Committee. Talking points are provided below. Take this action prior to April 25, 2010.

Senator Dianne Feinstein: Phone: 202-224-3841

Congressman Adamn Schiff: Phone:  202-225-4176

Congressman Michael Honda: Phone 202-225-2631

Talking Points:

Thank you for your strong support to end human trafficking and slavery in the FY 2010 Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies Appropriations bill.  Your support provided $12.5 million to the Department of Justice (DOJ) for grants for programs to end human trafficking and slavery, $5.3 million in funding for the Human Trafficking and Slavery Prosecution Unit.  I/we am/are asking for again for your help.

Human trafficking is one of the fastest growing criminal industries in the world, generating over $36 billion in profits to traffickers annually according to some estimates.  Victims of trafficking in the United States include children and adults trapped in forced labor situations and in prostitution, with little hope of escape. 

Unfortunately, the problem of human trafficking and slavery is growing.  Living in California, one is particularly aware of the problem as California, due to our geographic location, ports, diverse population and economic base, has the unfortunate distinction of being a hub for slavery and human trafficking.  In fact, Los Angeles is one of the top three points of entry into this country for victims.  We have a high volume of people brought here from other countries in addition to those already living here who are victimized and exploited.

These victims often experience severe trauma that requires intensive therapy and rehabilitation. In addition, human trafficking and slavery criminal cases are often complicated and require lengthy legal proceedings.  These cases require significant resources including comprehensive care provided by victim service organizations to support them through their recovery and help them navigate the legal system.  While there is extensive work in California by government entities, nongovernment entities (NGOs) and partnerships of government, NGOs, coalitions and private citizens, these good works needs to be supported and augmented.

As an individual/organization committed to ending slavery and human trafficking by protecting the victims of human trafficking and modern day slavery and prosecuting human trafficking, I/we urge you to:

- Support $15 million for Victims of Trafficking Grants with no less than $6.7 million for foreign nationals.
- Include report language requiring the Department of Justice to establish a point of contact in each U.S. Attorney Office to better coordinate human trafficking and slavery efforts in each jurisdiction
 - Include report language for FBI victim witness coordinators.
 - Support $5.3 million in funding for the Human Trafficking and Slavery Prosecution Units.
-  Support $15 million to the FBI for investigations in to trafficking.

Thank you for your past support and consideration of these requests and your continued leadership in fighting human trafficking and slavery. If you have any questions on these issues, please contact Stephanie Richard at the Coalition to Abolish Slavery and Trafficking (CAST) based in Los Angeles at 213.365.1906.

If you would like to take further action you can also visit change.org to sign on to a petition to support additional funding for trafficking survivors. Please click here for the link
 Thanks for your support!