The June 2019 arrest of billionaire Jeffrey Epstein has brought the issue of human trafficking into the news again. It is a good time to talk about how to refer to the victims and survivors of this evil.
Volunteer Opportunities: Yes
The Coalition to Abolish Slavery & Trafficking (CAST), a not-for-profit organization, was established in 1998 in the wake of the El Monte sweatshop case wherein 72 Thai garment workers were kept for eight years in slavery and debt bondage. Upon their release and under the leadership of CAST's founder Dr. Kathryn MacMahon, a group of concerned community activists realized something needed to be done to address the re-emergence of slavery.
With this in mind, CAST was created in 1998 to provide intensive case management, comprehensive services and advocacy to survivors healing from the unspeakable violence they endured. Today, CAST is a multi-ethnic, multi-lingual human rights organization located in Los Angeles that has been nationaly and internationally recognized for its dedication to the identifcation of trafficking survivors, the mobilization of all sectors of the community to identify and advocate against trafficking and the provision of direct services for victims.
With an annual budget of $2.5 million a year, CAST provides comprehensive long-term services through a three-pronged empowerment approach that includes social services, legal services, outreach and training. CAST was the first organization in the country dedicated exclusively to serving survivors of human trafficking and modern-day slavery.
CAST assists persons trafficked for the purpose of forced labor and works toward ending all instances of such human rights violations.