United States Attorney and California Attorney General Partner to Present the Second in a Series of Awareness Trainings on Labor Trafficking
SACRAMENTO, CA—Today, a training aimed at combatting the serious crime of labor trafficking was held, organized by U.S. Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner in partnership with California Attorney General Kamala Harris. This training, held at the Attorney General’s offices in Sacramento, was the second in a series of awareness trainings focused on forced labor and labor-related human trafficking. The first training was held in Fresno on October 24, 2014, and additional trainings are planned throughout the district and California.
U.S. Attorney Wagner stated: “Labor trafficking can be an invisible crime, because it so often goes unreported. The federal and state laws that forbid the practice have no effect when law enforcement is unaware of the violations that occur. Our goal is to train government workers, who may visit various worksites for other purposes, to recognize the signs of forced labor and to be aware of how to report it.”
“Human trafficking is the world’s fastest growing criminal enterprise,” said Special Assistant Attorney General Jeff Tsai. “Labor trafficking is the most prevalent form, but it is still under-reported and under-investigated. Training our first responders and government agencies to recognize the signs of labor trafficking is an important step in helping victims and going after the traffickers. Attorney General Harris has made fighting human trafficking a priority and is proud to partner with U.S. Attorney Wagner to provide this critical training.”
The training was attended by federal, state, and local workers who visit worksites as part of their duties, including employees from the U.S. Department of Labor, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, California’s Employment Development Department, Department of Industrial Relations, Department of Fair Employment and Housing, Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control, Agricultural Labor Relations Board, Contractors State Licensing Board, and representatives from El Dorado County and Yolo County, and the cities of Rancho Cordova, Folsom, and Elk Grove.
Speakers from the FBI, ICE’s Homeland Security Investigations, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Inspector General, and California’s Department of Industrial Relations described key indicators of labor trafficking and how to report the crime. Speakers from the International Rescue Committee presented information about labor trafficking from the trafficking survivor’s perspective, and representatives of Opening Doors Inc. led an interactive discussion of the signs of labor trafficking.
Raymond D. Greenlee, the assistant special agent in charge of Homeland Security Investigations who oversees Sacramento Homeland Security Investigations stated: “Human trafficking, including forced labor trafficking, amounts to modern day slavery and represents one of the most deplorable crimes HSI investigates. Sadly, the egregious exploitation of workers by unscrupulous individuals and businesses occurs more frequently in the Central Valley than many people realize. Our hope is that by vigorously enforcing trafficking laws and raising public awareness, we can reduce the level of exploitation and bring those responsible to justice.”
If you or anyone you know is a victim of labor trafficking, you may call the National Human Trafficking Resource Center at any time at 1 (888) 373-7888. You may also text “HELP” or “INFO” to 233733, or visit www.traffickingresourcecenter.org. You may also use these resources to report suspected human trafficking.