Article originally appeared in Sharing Signs of Hope 2018 No. 2 by the Stop Slavery Coalition

The Stop Slavery Coalition, through the work of Sisters Marie Gaillac and Rita Jovick, regularly participates in the Interfaith Committee of the San Francisco Collaborative Against Human Trafficking (SFCAHT). Marie and Rita suggested that as a Lent, Easter and Passover project, the Interfaith Committee conduct a two-week outreach campaign (from March 24 through April 7) to inform San Francisco hotels and motels about the public notice requirements of California Civil Code section 52.6.

This law mandates that certain businesses post a notice on their premises informing trafficking victims of their rights and providing contact information for help and services. The list of businesses, which includes airports, bus depots, truck stops, hospital emergency rooms, massage parlors, bars and other similar establishments, was recently expanded to include hotels, motels and Bed & Breakfast Inns.

To implement this campaign, the Stop Slavery members from San Francisco, together with women from the Jewish Coalition to End Human Trafficking and members of the Advocacy Committee of St. Ignatius Parish, recruited volunteers to visit hotels and motels in the City and provide these establishments with information on human trafficking and with the posters they are required to display.

On March 4, over 60 people attended a training session conducted by Sisters Marie and Rita and by Antonia Lavine, director of SFCAHT. Minouche Kandel, the Women’s Policy Director of the San Francisco Department on the Status of Women, and Coordinator of the Mayor’s Task Force on Anti-Human Trafficking, gave a presentation on Human Trafficking in San Francisco. The volunteers received information on canvassing as well as the materials needed to present to the proprietors. The volunteer teams visited and provided posters to 295 hotels and motels in 18 areas of the City.

STOP SLAVERY COALITION Northern California Catholic Sisters Against Human Trafficking