Combating Human Trafficking

The South Bay Coalition to End Human Trafficking is focused on comprehensively combating all forms trafficking. We focus on four strategies: (1) preventing trafficking by raising awareness through community outreach and engagement efforts; (2) training professionals who provide direct services; (3)  providing comprehensive trauma-informed and survivor-centered services to trafficking survivors; and (4) holding perpetrators accountable. Another area of focus for the Coalition is policy. We provide our members with information about upcoming legislation and our partners have helped draft some key legislation, discussed below.

These are some of the projects the South Bay Coalition is working on alongside partners.

Impacting Demand

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The 2018 Billboard campaign is intended to spark a community conversation about who we choose to criminalize with regards to commercial sex. We encourage people to think more about the demand for sex buying and how that impacts sex trafficking. Learn more about how buying sex impacts our community.

For community members who are concerned about commercial sex and sex trafficking happening in their neighborhoods, report potential buyers. If you see someone in a car who is trying to purchase sex, you can report them to the San Jose Police Department (SJPD) using Report John. Learn more about reporting. 

Training Partners to Recognize and Report

Transportation Agencies

Since 2015, Ruth Silver Taube, SBCEHT Legal Services Chair, has conducted human trafficking training of VTA transit workers. Trainings have resulted in reports of suspected trafficking. Additionally,  a bus driver who intervened in the kidnapping of a young child on his bus, credited the Coalition’s training. In 2017, VTA deputies intervened to help a human trafficking victim.   

Contact us to request a training.

Hospitality Industry

SBCEHT offers a free, one-hour training for hotels and restaurants through Stanford’s online courses. After a hotel training, a San Mateo hotel intervened to help a human trafficking victim.   Contact us to request a training.

Community Organizations

Our Executive Committee offers trainings to:

Hospitals & Medical Providers

Service Providers



Organizations working with at-risk populations

 Contact us to request a training.

2016 Super Bowl Campaign

We took an active role in efforts leading up to the 2016 Super Bowl in Santa Clara, seeing it as an opportunity to garner public and political support for long-term regional work. The Coalition co-founded and facilitates the regional group, “No Traffick Ahead,” which was formed to focus on collective impact in the region engaging nine counties across the Bay Area.

HT training for thousands of VTA bus drivers, teachers, firefighters, health-clinic workers, and social services staff

Collaborative trainings with law enforcement, victim service providers, and attorneys

Regional coalition, No Traffick Ahead, established to expand collaboration across 9 counties

SBCEHT helped frame public messaging human trafficking and the Super Bowl

Law enforcement operations in Santa Clara County uncovered 42 suspected victims, 30 alleged sex buyers, 1 alleged kidnapping, & 1 suspected stolen gun

Federal & State Human Trafficking Policy & Legislation

Human trafficking is illegal under International (United Nations and the Rule of Law: Trafficking in Persons), Federal (Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000), and California State law (California Penal Code Section 236.1: False Imprisonment & Human Trafficking).  Under Federal and International law, human trafficking is defined as the use of force, fraud or coercion to exploit a person for commercial sex or for the purpose of subjecting a victim to involuntary servitude, debt bondage, or forced labor. The use of force or coercion can be direct and violent, or psychological. “As codified in the California Penal Code, anyone who deprives or violates the personal liberty of another with the intent to obtain forced labor or services, procure or sell the individual for commercial sex, or exploit the individual in obscene matter, is guilty of human trafficking. Depriving or violating a person’s liberty includes ‘substantial and sustained restriction of another’s liberty accomplished through fraud, deceit, coercion, violence, duress, menace, or threat of unlawful injury to the victim or to another person, under circumstances where the person receiving or apprehending the threat reasonably believes that it is likely that the person making the threat would carry it out.’ However, sex trafficking of juveniles is separately defined as causing, inducing, persuading, or attempting to cause, induce or persuade a minor to engage in a commercial sex act. Forced labor or services include ‘labor or services that are performed or provided by a person and are obtained or maintained through force, fraud, or coercion, or equivalent conduct that would reasonably overbear the will of the person’” (From California Department of Justice). For news on upcoming policy efforts, visit CAST LA.