Sacramento, CA–A measure authored by CA Senator Brian Jones (R-Santee), based on recommendations of the California Little Hoover Commission and the Coalition to Abolish Slavery and Trafficking, was approved unanimously by the state Senate.
Jones’s Senate Bill 584 specifically expands previous legislation (AB 865 by Assemblymember Eloise Gomez Reyes – 2019), which required resource family training to educate foster parents on how to care for children who have experienced or are at risk of experiencing, commercial sexual exploitation (child sex trafficking). However, the chaptered version of the bill did not include training on child labor trafficking, despite its prevalence in California, specifically among foster youth. SB 584 adds “child labor trafficking” to the list of subjects foster families are required to receive training and information about.
“We’ve seen that foster kids in particular are vulnerable to being targeted by criminals for child labor trafficking,” stated Senator Brian Jones. “This legislation will require that the family training already provided to foster parents also includes critical information to protect children who have been victims of child labor trafficking or are more likely to become targets of child labor trafficking. Foster kids already face enough challenges and we need to help prevent the threat of them being forced into child labor trafficking.”
“Passing this bill will further help victims of labor trafficking be seen and be heard,” testified Jamelia Hinds, who was a victim of child labor trafficking from 11-years-old until 22 years of age. “Let’s get these children back to being kids.”
SB 584 goes next to the state Assembly for additional hearings.