Legislation would create age-appropriate prevention instruction for students
CALIFORNIA Assemblymember Rob Bonta (D-Oakland) has introduced legislation that will require classroom curriculum to educate children regarding the growing dangers posed by human trafficking.
AB 1227 will help identify and prevent cases of human trafficking through age-appropriate classroom education.
“Human trafficking is one of the fastest growing crimes in California and the nation,” said Bonta in a statement on Tuesday, February 21. “Exploiters prey on vulnerable children regardless of age, race, gender, economics or religion. Our bill will provide vital information to arm students and instructors with the tools to combat this horrific plague.”
AB 1227, which is joint-authored by Assemblymember Evan Low (D-San Francisco), will require public schools to offer an age-appropriate curriculum that will comply with state standards and provide a holistic view of the problem.
Bonta said the legislation will “address the vital aspect of prevention by educating our young people to identify the dangers and avoid becoming exploited in the first place.”
The assemblymember partnered with the PROTECT Coalition which has been a leader in educating students on the issues associated with human trafficking.
Ashlie M. Bryant, co-founder and president of the 3Strands Global Foundation — which is a member of the PROTECT Coalition — said, the legislation will “reduce the vulnerability of all children in California to human trafficking.”
Developed by three anti-human trafficking organizations — 3Strands Global, Love Never Fails and Frederick Douglass Family Initiatives — the PROTECT program has partnered with the Office of the California Attorney General and the California Department of Education to provide a scalable and systematic prevention education program.
In 2014, 75 percent of California’s human trafficking cases were related to sex trafficking. The issue hits home for Bonta who represents Oakland, a city that has consistently ranked as a hot spot for human trafficking.
“Human trafficking is modern-day slavery and it must be stopped. This is a top priority for me. I have consistently fought to protect survivors and punish the exploiters and buyers who are destroying young lives,” Bonta said.