Polaris, a leader in the global fight to eradicate modern slavery, Clear Channel Outdoor Americas (CCOA), an indirect subsidiary of iHeart Media, Inc., together with Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg, today launched a four-week anti-human trafficking awareness campaign on CCOA’s digital billboards in English and Spanish throughout the Sacramento region.
This campaign focuses specifically on labor trafficking and alerts victims how to reach for help through the National Human Trafficking Hotline (1-888-373-7888). Additionally, the campaign will inform residents of the facts surrounding modern day slavery, including that human trafficking is a major problem in Sacramento, and throughout the United States. The digital billboard ads read, “Has your boss threatened you? We can help.” They’ll be displayed at least 1,250 times per day on CCOA’s digital billboards throughout the region.
In the news conference earlier today at one of CCOA’s 22 digital billboards in the region, Polaris and CCOA leadership were joined by Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg, Sacramento County Supervisor Phil Serna, Deputy District Attorney Paul Durenberger, Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department Captain Robert Davis and Rico Ozaki of Opening Doors – a local nonprofit whose mission it is to empower refugees, immigrants and human trafficking survivors.
“Human trafficking is a severe nationwide issue that is a significant concern for the City of Sacramento,” said Mayor Darrell Steinberg. “I firmly believe that this campaign will force individuals, whether they be observers or victims, to acknowledge the reality of this problem and encourage reports.”
The National Human Trafficking Hotline has handled over 43,000 reported cases of human trafficking in the United States since 2007, including over 7,500 from California alone—the highest number of reports from any state. The billboards are specifically designed to reach potential victims of labor trafficking, as the crime is chronically underreported and people who experience exploitation aren’t always aware there is help available. A total of 7,200 cases of labor trafficking have been reported in the United States, including over 1,000 in California and over 30 in Sacramento alone.
“We’re proud to join in solidarity with our longtime partners, Polaris, and Mayor Steinberg to help human trafficking victims across the Sacramento area and beyond, get out of the life in which they’re trapped,” said Bob Schmitt, Regional President, Clear Channel Outdoor – Northern California. “Using this highly-visible form of media, we want to send a clear message to victims that help is available, and to traffickers, that our city is a fly-over zone for modern day slavery.”
CCOA has supported more than 25 anti-human trafficking campaigns over the last 6 years and data show that the campaigns drive calls to the hotline, including tips and requests by victims for help. This latest billboard campaign will deliver over 32 million impressions over its four-week span in Sacramento.
This latest campaign is a part of the national partnership Polaris and CCOA forged in 2013 to combat human trafficking with campaigns in cities across America. CCOA launched its first anti-human trafficking campaign alongside Polaris in Philadelphia in 2012 and has since supported campaigns with Polaris and/or local partners in Baltimore, Iowa, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Miami, Milwaukee, Minneapolis, New Jersey, New York, Chicago, Phoenix, San Francisco, Seattle, and across the state of Texas.
The National Human Trafficking Hotline is a 24/7, confidential, and multilingual lifeline that provides support and a variety of options for survivors of human trafficking to get connected to help and stay safe. Through a network of nearly 4,000 partner service providers and trusted law enforcement, trained hotline advocates take tips of suspected human trafficking from community members and help survivors build plans so they can safely leave their situations or get the help they need to rebuild their lives. The National Hotline can communicate via phone in more than 200 languages through a translation service, as well as text, chat, email, and webform in English and Spanish. The National Hotline is operated by Polaris and funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and other donors.