New Anti-Trafficking Billboards in Los Angeles Help Victims and Raise Awareness
By Juan Pablo Perez-Sangimino
Los Angeles is running an ad campaign to help victims of human trafficking. These announcements, like the one above, are on billboards and bus shelters in both English and Spanish with the National Human Trafficking Resource Center’s (NHTRC) multilingual hotline. Polaris—an anti-trafficking organization based in Washington, D.C—runs the hotline, and Clear Channel Outdoor donated the spaces. The ads span 25 digital billboards, 20 traditional billboards, and 20 transit shelter posters.
“Knowing there is a safe place to go… is an important first step for a human trafficking survivor,” said Kay Buck, the Executive Director of the Coalition to Abolish Slavery and Trafficknig (CAST). Polaris CEO Bradley Myles added, “Victims of human trafficking need to know there is help available… here in Los Angeles.”
The Los Angeles area is a major center for human trafficking due to its diverse population, size, and importance as a national and international hub of transit. “It is a multi-billion-dollar industry… and it’s right here in our backyard,” stated Don Knabe, Los Angeles County Supervisor.
Despite its prevalence throughout Los Angeles and across the United States, many do not realize how widespread human trafficking really is. Most people do not know what to look for to identify human trafficking, or what to do if they notice suspicious activity. “Everyone needs to ensure they’re aware of the signs of human trafficking and are able to report it when they spot it,” says Greg McGrath, President of Southern California for Clear Channel Outdoor.
Public awareness is essential in the effort to combat human trafficking, the fastest growing criminal enterprise in the world. These billboards remind us of the extensiveness human trafficking and also provide a ray of hope to victims that see them.