The nonprofit that counsels women who have been arrested for prostitution in San Francisco and the Mexican Consulate have launched a new campaign to seriously crack down on human trafficking.
Obviously, the goal is to get more victims of this social scourge that politicians love to rail against to come forward with specific cases.
To that end, the campaign, dubbed "One Call Can Save Your Life," has created a hotline where people can easily report suspected cases or get information.
Call this number: 415-354-4555, and the Mexican consulate
will help victims get connected with proper authorities.
"It's important to detect where this is happening," Mexican Consul
Carlos Felix said at a press conference at the San Francisco Consulate, where he was
joined by a representative from Standing Against Global Exploitation. "We cannot tolerate this, and we're not going to put up with this heinous crime."
The campaign, which will be in Spanish, is targeting Latino victims. And while the consulate can only legally assist those cases involving
Mexicans, they will help victims of other nationalities get in contact
with the proper authorities.
The campaign has chosen interesting methods to communicate its new effort. Aside from using Spanish-language media as well as advertisements on Muni buses, its also stamped compact mirrors and chapstick tubes with these messages: "Do they make you work or prostitute yourself to pay-off debts?" and "Do they threaten you or your family? Has someone taken your ID or your freedom?"
The consulate has also released a commercial featuring a Spanish-speaking woman who tells a story that officials said is a
typical narrative of a trafficking victim.
"I came because I wanted to learn English and go to school. The man who
brought me promised that and more. I've worked in the back of a
restaurant washing plates, for three years. I don't know anyone, I sleep
in an office, and he makes me have sex," the woman on the commercial said.
The consulate wants that message to resonate with victims and bring them out of the woodwork -- especially those victims of sexual trafficking, who rarely come forward.
"We know there is sexual human trafficking, at least among the
Spanish-speaking population, but we don't have a case because they don't
[come] to the office," says Eva Pizano Cejka of the consulate's legal