Photo courtesy of city of Long Beach.
As part of efforts to end human trafficking, the city of Long Beach on Thursday co-hosted a training for service providers, educators, professionals and parents at St. Mary Medical Center, city officials announced.
The Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children human trafficking awareness training—part of the city’s Safe Long Beach My Sister’s Keeper awareness campaign—was presented in partnership with the Los Angeles County Probation Department, St. Mary Medical Center, and the Long Beach Human Trafficking Task Force.
“Long Beach is committed to targeting all forms of violence and building communities where young people thrive,” said Mayor Robert Garcia in a statement. “We will continue to focus efforts on reducing crime and providing supportive services that ensure the safety and well-being of our youth and families.”
Participants were taught human trafficking indicators, victim identification and engagement practices, as well as resources for preventing these types of crimes.
“Human trafficking is a form of modern-day slavery and involves the use of force, fraud, or coercion to exploit a person for labor or commercial use,” a city release stated.
The training also included round table discussions for attendees to collaborate on citywide gang reduction and human trafficking intervention strategies.
My Sister’s Keeper—a three-year $1.5 million CalGRIP grant accepted by the city in January 215—supports anti-gang efforts and prevents the victimization of at-risk female youth.
The grant aims to prevent gang membership and gang victimization among at-risk females aged 10-24. The project includes a human trafficking awareness campaign, mental health treatment, housing assistance and mentorship, officials said.
The National Human Trafficking Resource Center hotline in 2014 received 3,598 reported cases of sex trafficking nationwide, the city stated. The Long Beach Police Department (LBPD) last year reported 17 cases of human trafficking.