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CA Attorney General Bonta tackles human trafficking ahead of Super Bowl

Steve Angeles | TFC News Los Angeles

Posted at Jan 28 2022 07:56 PM

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With the Super Bowl heading to Los Angeles, California's Fil-Am Attorney General Rob Bonta is teaming up with local leaders and the anti-human trafficking group 'It’s a Penalty' to tackle human and sex trafficking.  

"There’s often a misconception that human trafficking requires movement across borders but it does not. Human trafficking does not require movement around borders and much of the trafficking that we see is within the borders of the state of California and the United States. Trafficking at its core is about using fraud, force or coercion to exploit someone for labor or for sex," Bonta points out.

According to advocate groups, major sports weekends see spikes in trafficking and prostitution. "While this is a time to celebrate, it’s also a time to recognize the unfortunate byproduct of being a tourism destination," Nury Martinez, president of the LA City Council, says.

Local and state officials, business leaders, advocates, and the NFL have teamed up to launch a campaign calling on the public to raise awareness and report any possible cases of trafficking through signage, PSAs and public awareness especially at places like airports.

Since taking office, Bonta has implemented a number of programs to combat trafficking while assisting victims.

"We’ve already announced a number of successful disruptions, and dismantling of human trafficking rings and providing protection and services and healing to survivors and victims. We are very active in this and it's because in large part of not just the work we’ve been doing, but increased priority and the focus," Bonta notes.

Human trafficking may not be the only concern for Californians. The Super Bowl comes to town as crime sprees are taking place throughout the state. Bonta explains that he has a number of initiatives to keep residents safe despite the reports of increased property crimes.

"We work in collaboration with our law enforcement partners across the state to address the most pressing issues in public health and safety of the day, obviously in the middle of an international pandemic still. So we need to make sure that we’re following the guidelines to be safe and healthy but also we're very cognizant of and focused on some of the increases in some crimes and locations, making sure that we do everything possible to prevent them from happening in the first place... prosecuting, holding folks accountable, working with our law enforcement partners to make arrests."

The Super Bowl will take place at the newly opened SoFi arena on February 13 and is expected to bring large crowds and a number of events in the weeks leading to the big game.