January marks National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month, and much of LA’s law enforcement teamed up on Jan. 23, 2015 for a three-day rescue mission throughout areas known for heavy crime and prostitution. This operation is a push in the right direction, as more and more universities, organizations and politicians are voicing their opinions on the need to put an end to trafficking.
Between the LAPD and the FBI Task Force, there were plenty of hands on deck to conduct the operation focusing on the rescue and recovery of sexually exploited children, according to the LAPD official blog.
Various organizations partnered with the task force, including the Los Angeles Dream Center, which “provided support and residential housing for adult sex trafficking victims,” wrote LAPD. All rescued victims were given care packages at the center, which were made up of stuffed animals, clothing and personal hygiene supplies.
The operation proved to be successful. According to the blog post, “six pimps were arrested and nine minors, who had been trafficked for the purposes of sexual slavery, were rescued.”
This begs question, Why doesn’t this happen more often? Human trafficking is not just happening in foreign countries, but it is happening all around us. In fact, California, “a populous border state with a significant immigrant population and the world’s ninth largest economy – is one of the nation’s top four destination states for trafficking human beings,” according to the Office of the Attorney General. Rescue operations should not just be something that make the news once a year during the month of awareness, but a common occurrence throughout America.