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

Alameda County H.E.A.T. Watch Tip Line:
Office of the District Attorney, Alameda County
Nancy E. O'Malley, District Attorney

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Vigorous Prosecution of Traffickers

Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O’Malley formed the H.E.A.T. Unit in 2005, prior to the passage of Penal Code Section 236.1, California’s Human Trafficking Statute.


Holding Traffickers Accountable: Statistics from January 2011 to May 2018

585 defendants charged, 440 defendants convicted, 81% of prosecutions successful

*download infographic as PDF

The Alameda County District Attorney's Office is a recognized leader in prosecuting human trafficking cases nationwide.

A key component of H.E.A.T. Watch prosecution efforts is recognizing that children who are exploited and trafficked are victims of child abuse, not criminals. Referring to these children as commercially sexually exploited youth, as opposed to prostitutes, acknowledges their victimization and shifts responsibility where it rightfully belongs – to the traffickers who facilitate and engage in sex with children*. The Alameda County District Attorney's Office does not prosecute victims of exploitation and trafficking.

“For [a decade] we have been fighting to shatter the perception of children as prostitutes and criminals undeserving of protection. These young people are victims of child abuse. We are committed to continue our ongoing efforts to educate the community, prosecute the offenders, and rescue these girls,” says DA O’Malley.

*These statistics do not differentiate between child and adult victims, though the majority of H.E.A.T. victims are minors. These statistics also do not include juveniles who have been arrested for trafficking. The stats only track adult traffickers who have been charged with violating Penal Code Sections 236.1, 266h, 266i, 266j, and 209(a) where the purpose of the kidnap is the use of the female body for financial gain.