ZOE collaborates with human trafficking task forces in Thailand, Japan, and the United States, including law enforcement, government, and community agency partners. In Los Angeles, ZOE is a partner of the Los Angeles Regional Human Trafficking Task Force. Such collaboration is vital to identify and recover victims and investigate and prosecute traffickers.
In January 2021, ZOE had the privilege of speaking before the Los Angeles Board of Police Commissioners, along with other community organizations and survivor leaders, to express support for the City Council to fully fund the Los Angeles Police Department’s Human Trafficking Task Forces in the midst of possible department budget cuts.
During the 2020-2021 fiscal year, budget cuts limited human trafficking operations outside of regular business hours. These cuts reduced opportunities to recover human trafficking more victims, including children.
Human trafficking investigations and operations require many hours, and usually months, of building rapport with and interviewing victims, investigations, and collaboration efforts to successfully identify and recover victims and investigate and prosecute cases against traffickers.
During the meeting, ZOE’s Chief Operating Office Dave Cox told the commission the following quote:
“Without dedicated law enforcement efforts, child trafficking will grow in our city.”
In the end, the commissioners voted to recommend that the City Council fully fund the human trafficking task forces.
We are thankful for our dedicated law enforcement and other partners who work tirelessly to help recover our most vulnerable children from human trafficking.
Author Ester Yu