As part of National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month, the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) is reminding the public how to help potential victims. Human trafficking is a heinous crime and victims are often transported on buses and trains in the U.S. Almost one million people — mostly young girls — are trafficked against their will each year.
Here are some signs that someone may be a victim of trafficking:
- They look fearful, depressed, anxious or tense.
- They’re being closely watched.
- They don’t have possession of their money.
- They show signs of physical abuse.
All 10,000-plus employees at Metro, including bus and rail operators, are trained and educated on how to report suspected human trafficking and help victims who want to make a report. Operators who travel daily through the main trafficking hubs are aware of the signs that someone may be in need of rescue.
The agency urges customers who believe someone might be a victim of human trafficking to call a special number (888.950.SAFE) or use the LA Metro Transit Watch smartphone app to make a report. The app offers an easy and anonymous way for Metro transit riders to report suspicious activity via photo and video uploads and text messaging.
To learn more about how Los Angeles County departments and several of the County’s community partners fight against human trafficking, visit lacounty.gov/human-trafficking.