PRevention Organized to Educate Children on Trafficking (PROTECT)
PROTECT is a human trafficking prevention education program that was developed in 2015 through a coalition of three nonprofits (3Strands Global Foundation, Love Never Fails, and Frederick Douglass Family Initiatives), in partnership with the Office of the Attorney General for the State of California, the California Department of Education, Cisco Systems, and the Institute for Social Research at Sacramento State University.
Through this program, students and school personnel are learning about red flags, protocols, and ways to prevent exploitation.
“Human Trafficking is a global issue that has not only made its way to our state and region, but also to our public schools. This initiative brings awareness about human trafficking directly to the classroom, and educates school staff about how to identify victims of trafficking. These resources can help a child who is being trafficked and hopefully, prevent a child from falling victim to human trafficking.” –Tom Torlakson, State Superintendent of Public Instruction
What is Human Trafficking?
According to the U.S. Department of State, “'Modern slavery’ and ‘human trafficking’ have been used as umbrella terms for the act of recruiting, harboring, transporting, providing, or obtaining a person for compelled labor or commercial sex acts through the use of force, fraud, or coercion.”
- Force can involve the use of physical restraint or serious physical harm. Physical violence, including rape, beatings, and physical confinement, is often employed as a means to control victims, especially during the early stages of victimization, when the trafficker breaks down the victim’s resistance.
- Fraud involves false promises regarding employment, wages, working conditions, or other matters. For example, individuals might travel to another country under the promise of well-paying work at a farm or factory only to find themselves manipulated into forced labor. Others might reply to advertisements promising modeling, nanny, or service industry jobs overseas, but be forced into prostitution once they arrive at their destination.
- Coercion can involve threats of serious harm to or physical restraint against any person; any scheme, plan or pattern intended to cause a person to believe that failure to perform an act would result in serious harm to or physical restraint against any person; or the abuse or threatened abuse of the legal process.
There are two types of human trafficking: labor and sex.
Did You Know?
According to the Polaris Project, which gathers data from the National Human Trafficking Hotline, there were 7,621 confirmed cases of sex and/or labor trafficking in the United States in 2016. California had the highest number of incidents, roughly 1,331 cases, but because this is a hidden crime, there are cases in all states going unreported.
- National Human Trafficking Hotline
Text: HELP to BeFree (233733)
- Polaris Project: The Facts
- CDE’s Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children (CSEC) Webpage
- Latest California Legislation regarding Human Trafficking Prevention Education (AB 1227, Bonta)