City Without Orphans, one of our amazing partners will have a Fostering and Adoption 101 Workshop at NorthPointe Community Church on Sunday, February 26th from 2-4pm. Click here to register.

One of the greatest ways that human trafficking can be prevented among children is by foster children receiving love and support. A large percent of sex trafficking victims are/were foster care children.

City Without Orphans’ vision is “to pray and labor towards a day where there will be no more temporary orphans in Fresno. No more children waiting to be placed in a foster home or waiting to be adopted. Instead, every child who has been abused, abandoned or neglected will have a willing family waiting to give them the love and healthy home they deserve. Then Fresno will truly be a “city on a hill that cannot be hidden,” giving light and hope to the rest of the world.”

There will also be an art exhibit   by foster kids through Heart Gallery, this Thursday, February 2, at at the Downtown Community Arts Collective located at 754 P. Street Fresno, Ca 93721. Come and see pictures of real children in Fresno County needing loving homes! Snacks will be provided.

Though human trafficking is hidden, victims may be in plain sight. This includes those in schools within our community. Children may be victims of sex trafficking, through gangs or other traffickers. Heartbreakingly, some victims are trafficked by their own families. Children may also be victims of labor trafficking in agricultural labor or other forms of labor. Trafficked children may be kept from going to school, but others may continue as students and that is way it is important for educators to not only be aware of child trafficking, but to learn the red flags that may indicate victimization and  how to respond.
Last year, a Clovis student was rescued after it was found that she was a victim of domestic servitude, working at a family’s house, though they told everyone she was an adopted daughter.
She shared an insight from her experience with future teachers at Fresno Pacific, “If a student can’t explain or doesn’t say what he or she does after school or on the weekends, that is a red flag.”
There are other signs and a teacher with an awareness of the signs can play a part in bringing freedom to a juvenile victim. We also have a national hotline, 888-3737-888, that educators and other can call if they suspect possible human trafficking. The operators are trained and can answer question, advise callers, and dispatch to the appropriate authorities.
On our website is a wealth of simple yet comprehensive resources on our Educators’ page.
We encourage teachers and other educators to attend our trainings during Freedom Week and other times, to request training at their school, and help in the fight against human trafficking of children.

On Saturday, Jan. 15, there will be a training for those interested in helping gets signatures for the California Against Sexual Exploitation Act. The training will be at 11:00 a.m. at the Revue, 620 E Olive Ave.(hey training AND you can buy a delicious beverage)
Help get signatures to put an initiative on the ballot that will help fight human trafficking in California.
Slated for the November 2012 California Ballot, the California Against Sexual Exploitation Act will deter traffickers with higher penalties and fines, use fines to fund victim services, remove barriers to prosecute child sex traffickers, mandate training for law enforcement officers, require convicted sex traffickers to register as sex offenders, require all sex offenders to disclose Internet accounts, and protect victims in court proceedings.
Join the team of dedicated volunteers across California to gather signatures for this monumental initiative between now and April 2012. We need all the help we can get to gather signatures.
This training will give all the information about the initiative and how to get signatures.
The Freedom Week team will need volunteers to get signatures at the Freedom Week events and welcome volunteers to join on.
For more information, go to caseact.org

We are pleased to introduce to you MadeForThem.
Their mission is to combat human trafficking and promote social justice and human rights through design, fashion, and the arts.
MadeForThem fund-raises through the vehicles of design, fashion, and the arts to raise awareness about human trafficking. Resources are directed to support committed organizations who are making a significant difference in these areas on local, state, national and international organizations.
To get their organization up and running, they are having a fundraiser to build up MadeForThem.
Reserve your tickets and then come, learn more, and enjoy great music!
Visit them at madeforthem.org

California Against Slavery has just launched their petition campaign to get their initiative, California Against Sexual Exploitation Act, on the November 2012 ballot.
If passed the CASE Act will
-Increase prison terms for human traffickers. ( the maximum sentence is 8 years. they are seeking a maximum of life.)
– Increase fines for human traffickers, up to $1.5M to fund victim services
– Remove the need to prove force to prosecute sex trafficking of a minor. (By federal law, a minor involved in commercial sexual exploitation is a human trafficking victim, regardless if force, fraud, or coercion were or were not involved.)
– Mandate human trafficking training for law enforcement
– Make sex traffickers register as sex offenders
– Require all sex offenders to disclose internet accounts
– Prohibits use of sexual history to impeach or prove criminal liability of trafficked victims.
See full text here.

We need volunteers in the Central Valley to help gain enough petitions for the initiative to make it on the November ballot. If you are interested in getting involved in any way, please sign up on the California Against Slavery website.