SACRAMENTO–In her first bill introduced in the 2019-20 Legislative Session, Senator Ling Ling Chang (R-Diamond Bar) calls for a statewide task force to combat human trafficking.
While several local task forces have been recognized nationwide for their collaborative approach, California still lacks a good picture of what human trafficking looks like throughout the entire state. Senate Bill 35 creates a uniform system for governments and organizations to work together and includes the first comprehensive study on trafficking in California, which hosts the highest rate of human trafficking in the United States.
“Human trafficking remains the fastest growing criminal enterprise of the 21st century,” said Senator Chang. “It’s happening right here – in the streets and suburbs of Los Angeles, Orange, and San Bernardino counties. We must work together and do more to protect Californians from this form of modern day slavery.”
“This complex criminal issue needs a multi-tiered, long-term response,” said Kay Buck, CEO of the California-based Coalition to Abolish Slavery and Trafficking (CAST), a leader in the U.S. anti-trafficking movement. “Currently, there aren’t any statewide or national studies of this nature. California has the opportunity to establish a precedent by developing a task force to study labor and sex trafficking, providing us with valuable insights to end this epidemic.”
Since Senator Chang’s tenure, she has advocated on behalf of victims of human trafficking. In 2018, Senator Chang introduced SB 991, which called on the state to reinstate $15 million to support victims of human trafficking. Her efforts to fight alongside important advocates secured $10 million in funding for service providers.