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H.E.A.T. Watch – Stop Human Exploitation and Trafficking

National Human Trafficking Hotline: 1(888) 373-7888
Alameda County H.E.A.T. Watch Tip Line: 1(510) 208-4959
Office of the District Attorney, Alameda County
Nancy E. O'Malley, District Attorney

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Policy and Law

One of the first anti-human trafficking laws, The Mann Act, was passed in 1910. It made it a felony to transport women across state lines "for the purpose of prostitution or debauchery, or for any other immoral purpose."

The broad language made the Mann Act easy to reinterpret and ended up being used as a tool for political persecution. This is why clear, direct and non-ambiguous language is essential for any human trafficking legislation and while even over a hundred years later, we are still perfecting the language.

Federal Laws

The Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA) is a far-reaching federal law, initially created in 2000, to address prevention, protection, and prosecution. To date, the TVPA has been reauthorized in 2003, 2005, 2008, and 2013. View a 10-year report on the TVPA by the US Department of Justice.

California Laws

SB 1193: Posting of Public Notices Regarding Slavery and Human Trafficking: Darrell Steinberg introduced this law to require certain businesses (like bars, truck stops, massage parlors) to post a notice advertising resources and a hotline for victims of human trafficking.

Enacted in 2014, California Senate Bill 1193 requires certain businesses- such as mass transit stops and bars- to display a “Stop Human Trafficking” poster in full view of the public and its employees. The poster provides critical resources for victims of trafficking and publicly educates business customers on how to help stop human trafficking. Businesses that do not comply with the law are subject to a $500 fine for their first offense, and $1,000 each day for their second offense.

The Alameda District Attorney's office is organizing events to put this law into action. Stay connected to our mailing list for updates.

AB1610 (Bonta, 2014): Allowed for conditional examinations of CSEC or victims of human trafficking. This bill was passed by the State Legislature and signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown in 2014.

AB 2498 (Bonta): Seeks to provide greater privacy protections for victims as well as added criminal penalties for human traffickers. The bill is currently under consideration by the State Legislature.

SB 1322 (Mitchell): Precludes victims of childhood commercial sexual exploitation from being arrested and charged with prostitution and related loitering. The bill is currently under consideration by the State Legislature.

SB 420 (Huff): Separates Penal Code 647(b) [currently one section without distinction of who is doing what to whom regarding commercial sexual conduct] into 3 subsections: an adult soliciting to accept money or something of value for sex; an adult soliciting to purchase an adult for sex; or an adult soliciting to purchase a minor for sex. The bill has passed through the State Legislature without opposition and is moving to the Governor’s desk.

SB1064 (Hancock): Removes the sunset clause of a law specific to the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office and work with CSEC. The bill has passed through the Legislature and is moving to the Governor’s desk.

The 2016 State Budget includes an additional $10 million for human trafficking prevention grants. The grant program was created last year under the Office of Emergency Services. Alameda County provider Motivating, Inspiring, Supporting and Serving Sexually Exploited Youth (MISSSEY) received a grant to support their work.

AB 22: California Trafficking Victims Protection Act (CTVPA) (2005) Assemblymembers Lieber. Liu, Bermudez, Chan, Chavez, Cohn, DeVore, Goldberg, Hancock, Shirley Horton, Koretz, Leno, Leslie, Levine, Matthews, Pavley, Sharon Runner, and Ruskin, and Senators Kuehl, Alquist, Cedillo, Escutia, and Romero. This law made human trafficking for forced labor or services a felony crime punishable by a sentence of 3, 4, or 5 years in state prison and 4, 6, or 8 years in prison for trafficking a minor. The CTVPA only addresses criminal prosecution, victim protection, and prevention efforts. Read the bill.

SB 180: Human Trafficking (2005) Senator Kuehl. This law created the California Alliance to Combat Trafficking and Slavery Task Force (CA ACTS), which was designed to raise awareness about the issue and bring together key stakeholders in law enforcement, state agencies and services providers to improve prosecution of traffickers, data collection, and victims services. The bill also asks the Commission on Peace Officer Standards Training (POST) to provide peace officers with human trafficking training to promote successful detection, investigation, and prosecution of human trafficking cases. View “POST Guidelines on Law Enforcement Response to Human Trafficking” (2008).

SB 1569: Human Service for Immigrant Survivors of Human Trafficking and Other Crimes (2006) Senator Kuehl. This bill extends eligibility for certain state and local benefits, such as Medi-Cal and refugee cash assistance, to qualified non-US citizens who are victims of human trafficking, domestic violence, and other crimes, and who can demonstrate their eligibility for these programs. Victims can also access state or local public benefits and services of that which they are eligible for, in a similar manner that persons are eligible for the Federal Refugee Act of 1980. A state-mandated local program is thereby established as a result of increased responsibility for administering eligibility, benefits and services by counties.

ACR 33: (2005) Assemblymembers Lieber, Sharon Runner, Liu, Garcia, Shirley Horton and Senators Kehoe, Kuehl, Morrow. This bill establishes the Joint Committee on Human Trafficking, which is charged with studying and investigating issues relating to human trafficking, including the training of law enforcement agencies; education efforts to identify trafficking victims; the coordination among victim services programs; the development of culturally appropriate services; and, obtaining data regarding the number of victims and their locations. The Committee will submit a report of its findings to the Legislature on September 30, 2006. The Committee will consist of 5 Assembly Members and 5 Senators and will act until November 30, 2006.

ACR 28: National Day of Human Trafficking Awareness (2008) Assembly Member Ma and Senator Padilla. This bill recognizes the US Congressional Resolution (S. Con. Res. 40) to observe a “National Day of Human Trafficking Awareness” on January 11 of each year to promote awareness of human trafficking, and to support efforts to combat trafficking in persons.

AB 1278: (2008) Assembly Members, Lieber, Ma, Smyth, and Senator Romero. This bill amends California’s Civil Code to make void any provision of a contract that seeks to withhold any wages as compensation for transporting or assisting in emigration of a person into the United States. The bill also amends California’s Penal Code to require a hearing in human trafficking cases spanning multiple jurisdictions to determine where the case should be tried.

AB 2810: (2008) Assemblymember Brownley. This bill requires law enforcement agencies to assess whether a victim of domestic violence or rape, or a person “suspected of violating” California’s solicitation and prostitution laws, is also a victim of human trafficking. The statute provides specific indicators, including lack of control over one’s identification, lack of freedom of movement and signs of trauma or poor care, by which to make this determination. The bill also requires law enforcement agencies to inform the victim that his or her name can be withheld from public record should they request it and requires identifying information be kept confidential except for agencies involved in investigating and prosecuting the case.

AB 17: Abolition of Child Commerce, Exploitation and Sexual Slavery Act of 2011. (2011) Senator Swanson wrote this act that "requires individuals convicted of procuring sexual services from a minor prostitute to pay an additional fine (up to $25,000) to fund programs for sexually exploited children." This bill classifies any cases “involving human trafficking of minors for purposes of prostitute or lewd conduct” or “abduction or procurement as by fraudulent inducement for prostitution" as criminal profiteering activity and requires that any proceeds made from forfeiture of property and monies from fines paid in these cases be deposited into the Victim-Witness Assistance fund. These funds are allocated for counseling programs that serve children who have been sexually abused or exploited. AB 17 requires that 50 percent of the funds be granted to community-based organizations serving trafficking victims who are minors. The bill also increases maximum additional fines for procurement of a child under the age of 16 to $20,000.

AB 90: Human Trafficking: Minors. (2011) Assemblymember Swanson. An act to amend Sections 186.2 and 186.8 of the Penal Code, relating to human trafficking. AB 90 will expand the types of human trafficking crimes subject to the criminal profiteering asset forfeiture laws. Specifically, it provides that any case in which the defendant persuaded, induced, coerced or forced a minor to engage in a commercial sex act can be the basis of criminal profiteering asset forfeiture. Young trafficking victims suffer from significant physical and mental health problems, including post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, and trauma bonding, resulting from displacement and abuse. AB 90 recognizes psychological coercion within the context of asset forfeiture, and makes the resulting funds available for minor victims of human trafficking through the Victim-Witness Assistance Fund.

SB 677: Seizure of Property in a Human Trafficking Case (2011) This bill allows for the seizure of any “real property” that is used to facilitate the offense of human trafficking.

CA AB 12: The Abolition of Child Commerce, Exploitation, and Sexual Slavery Act of 2011 (2011) Assemblymember Swanson. The Abolition of Child Commerce, Exploitation, and Sexual Slavery Act (ACCESS Act) would increase the fine (up to $25,000) against a person procuring a minor for sex and would direct those fines to organizations providing support services to sexually exploited minors. The commercial exploitation of minors is exploding in low-income communities and communities of color. By increasing the fines against the 'Johns' who sexually exploit children under 18 years of age, AB 12 will stop many of those predators from committing the crime in the first place. AB 12 will also provide funding to organizations that help young victims transition to a healthy and safe lifestyle.

AB 764: Personal Income Taxes: Voluntary Contributions: Child Victims of Human Trafficking Fund (2011) Assemblymember Swanson. This bill allows individual citizens to voluntarily contribute amounts in excess of their tax liability to the Victims-Witness Assistance Fund without adding an additional financial burden on the state.

SB 657: Senator Steinberg, Assemblymembers Perez, J. Brownley and Saldana. This bill creates the California Transparency in Supply Chains Act of 2010 that mandates all retailers and manufacturers “doing business in the state” and who generate in excess of one million dollars in “gross receipts” to publicly “disclose its efforts to eradicate slavery and human trafficking from their direct supply chains for tangible goods offered for sale.” SB 657 provides a list of actions retailers and manufacturers must take to adhere to the law and requires that these efforts be posted on businesses’ website homepage. Businesses in violation of this statute shall have an “action brought by the Attorney General for injunctive relief.” Beginning November 30, 2012, the Franchise Tax Board must submit to the Attorney General an annual list of the businesses required to disclose efforts to combat trafficking in their supply chains.

SB 557: Family Justice Centers (2011) Senator Kehoe. Open up family disciplinary center for victims of DV and human trafficking.

California Statues Relating to Human Trafficking

  • PC 181: Infringement of personal liberty or attempt to assume ownership of persons
  • PC 186: Distribution of proceeds from forfeiture sale, AKA California Control of Profits of Organized Crime Act (See 186.2 (a)(28))
  • PC 236.1: Human trafficking, created for the purpose of human trafficking prosecutions.
  • PC 236.1(c) Human trafficking of minors
  • PC 236.2: Duty of law enforcement agencies to use due diligence to identify victims of human trafficking, Indicators
  • PC 236.3 Real property used to facilitate violation of [Human Trafficking] shall have nuisance procedures applied
  • PC 236.5 Duty of law enforcement agencies upon encounter with victim of human trafficking regarding LEA endorsements
  • PC 266(k) Additional fines; Use for child sexual abuse prevention and counseling and to serve minor victims of human trafficking
  • PC 273.7 Disclosure of trafficking or domestic violence shelter
  • PC 293 Publication of information regarding victim of sex offense or human trafficking
  • PC 784.8 Severence of counts in case of human trafficking (venue; joinders; where crime involves multiple jurisdictions
  • PC 13519.14 Training and guidelines for handling human trafficking complaints
  • PC 14023 Priorities (The Attorney General shall give priority to matters involving organized crime, gang activities, drug trafficking, human trafficking, and cases involving a high degree of risk to the witness. Special regard shall also be given to the elderly, the young, battered, victims of domestic violence, the inform, the handicapped, and victims of hate incidents.

Bills not yet passed:

AB 1276 (Santiago): Authorizes a minor, 15 years of age or younger, to testify at trial out of the presence of the defendant and jury by way of closed-circuit television in human trafficking cases. The bill is currently under consideration by the State Legislature.

CA AB 702: Prostitution: Human Trafficking, expungment. (2011) Assemblymember Swanson. This bill allows a child to seal his/her record as it pertains to prostitution offenses when they turn 18 w/o having to show that they have not committed a further felony or misdemeanor involving moral turpitude or that rehabilitation was attained. It would also allow an adult or child tried as an adult for prostitution to have the court set aside the verdict or change the pleas of the adult where the adult can show they are a victim of human trafficking.

ACR 6 Human Trafficking (2011) Assemblymember Donnelly. This resolution would recognize the month of January as National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month, and it would recognize February 1, 2011, as California’s Free From Slavery Day.

*Note: This information compiled by the Center for Women Policy Studies, Captive Daughters, the Polaris Project, California Against Slavery, Assemblymember Sandré R. Swanson’s Office, and H.E.A.T. Watch.