CalVCB offers resources, compensation for human trafficking victims

The California Victim Compensation Board is promoting national Human Trafficking Prevention Month with a social media campaign and reminders about the support available for survivors.

Three years ago, CalVCB began authorizing income loss compensation for victims of sex and labor trafficking as a result of Assembly Bill 629, which took effect on Jan. 1, 2020. In that time, CalVCB has approved 590 human trafficking claims and paid victims $4,445,861 in lost wages.

“Sex and labor trafficking victims face many challenges as they try to rebuild their lives,” said CalVCB Executive Office Lynda Gledhill. “CalVCB can help by compensating for lost income or other expenses, such as mental health counseling, caused by the trauma of being trafficked.”

To help bring awareness to the problem and make victims aware of the support and resources available, CalVCB launched a social media campaign and created a media toolkit for others to use.

Human trafficking is the practice of enslaving people for labor, sexual activity or commercial sexual exploitation. Human trafficking can occur within a country or trans-nationally and does not necessarily involve the movement of the victim from one place to another.

Human trafficking is considered the world’s third-largest criminal enterprise, after drug dealing and arms trafficking. An estimated 12.8 percent of all human trafficking cases in the United States in 2021 came from California, according to the National Human Trafficking Hotline.

In an effort to bring attention to this national and global problem, in 2007 the U.S. Senate designated Jan. 11 as a National Day of Human Trafficking Awareness. In 2010, President Barack Obama proclaimed January as National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month.

In addition to income loss compensation, which covers up to $20,000 for a two-year period, CalVCB can reimburse survivors for other expenses caused by human trafficking, including medical, dental, and mental health treatment, home security and relocation.

To learn more, visit CalVCB’s human trafficking information page.