Human trafficking focus of art, volunteers and new laws

1:00 AM, Jan 7, 2010   |    comments
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Sacramento, CA- Just a few months after a national prostitution sting put Sacramento on the map, human trafficking is the subject of a one-of-a-kind art exhibit at this month's Second Saturday.

"Look Beneath the Surface" is a joint effort between the Sacramento Freedom Initiative and Vox Sacramento. The human trafficking awareness event will be held at the Urban Hive Building at 1931 H Street in Midtown Sacramento.

The event will include art by local artists, public service announcements, movie clips, live music, and information about human trafficking.

Meanwhile, "Courage to Be You", an organization dedicated to rescuing children from prostitution, is gearing up for a 6-week training session. Nearly 125 volunteers turned out Tuesday night for a special orientation. Training kicks off January 16th. People can still get involved.

Human trafficking and prostitution fuels a number of new laws in 2010 to help crush growing problem. One law quadruples the fine. Someone convicted of human trafficking crimes will now have to pay $20,000. Another law allows local government to impound vehicles used in the commission of prostitution related crimes.

 "By taking the people's cars whether they are engaged in the solicitation of prostitution or in the prostitution themselves, and by stiffening the penalties--the monetary penalties, you're going to hit the prostitutes where they operate and the people who organize the prostitution at the higher level then just the street level operatives," said Captain Scott Jones of the Sacramento County Sheriff's Department.

Volunteers will be gathering signatures to help put a new initiative on the November ballot. The law would help battle prostitution requiring all law enforcement agencies to undergo two hours of mandatory training on human trafficking. It would also increase the fines and jail time for anyone convicted of prostitution involving children or adults.

By Suzanne Phan,


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