Posted by Kathy Liang, Emily Liang, and Vivian Wu

On Monday, February 12, 2018, the Anti-Trafficking Collaborative of the Bay Area (ATCBA), consisting of API Legal Outreach, AWS, and Banteay Srei, held a presentation at The Spot in Oakland to discuss and spread awareness about human trafficking. Several members of API Legal Outreach’s Youth Advisory Council (YAC) and other youth from Banteay Srei attended the presentation to learn about the red flags of human trafficking, reasons for human trafficking, and examples of human trafficking. The presenters were able to share experiences they’ve witnessed through cases and show that human trafficking does not always look the same. Although YAC mainly focuses on teen dating violence, it was an eye opening experience to be able to connect the similarities between human trafficking and dating violence. One similarity we noticed was the power and control perpetrators want over victims in domestic/dating violence and human trafficking. They use tactics such as force or threats in order to gain that power. As they take advantage of people’s vulnerabilities, they lose their compassion and empathy for human life. They begin to treat those who are humans like themselves as inferior. YAC is grateful for the opportunity to be part of ATCBA’s human trafficking presentation and engage in an inclusive discussion about our thoughts and opinions. We hope presentations like these encourage sensitive issues to be understood and taught in our communities, so we can all work as one to lessen the chances of human trafficking.