City Council proclaims January Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month

Photo courtesy Fresno EOC Central Valley Against Human Trafficking

The Clovis City Council proclaimed January 2022 as Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month.

The Fresno Economic Opportunities Commission (EOC) hosts the Central Valley Against Human Trafficking (CVAHT) program. CVAHT has helped identify over 1500 victims of human trafficking.

The CVAHT started in 2009 when staff from the Fresno EOC became more aware of minor girls presenting at the Sanctuary Youth Shelter with a history of human trafficking. Since that time, the program now serves a six-county region that includes Merced, Madera, Fresno, Tulare, Kings, and Kern Counties. 

The CVAHT provides resources to empower self-sufficiency, restore dignity, and support recovery from trauma for survivors.

Human trafficking is a crime which results in people profiting from the control and exploitation of others. This includes children under sex trade, adults aged 18 or over who are deceived into commercial sex acts, and anyone forced to conduct different forms of “labor or services”. 

These crimes can range from domestic workers held in a home, or farmworkers forced to labor against their will. 

The Clovis City Council presented several statistics that state the impact of human trafficking across not only our community, but also the nation and the world.

  • According to the International Labor Organization, there’s an estimated 40.3 million people in modern slavery globally. One in four of these victims are children.
  • The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children have estimated that one out of six endangered runaways were likely sex trafficking victims 
  • The United States Department of Labor identified 139 goods from 75 countries made by forced and child labor.

The Project Manager of the CVAHT, Amber Secundino, thanked the City Council for hosting some members of the program and spoke to the importance of this recognition. 

“This month is dedicated to raising awareness to keep people out of these trafficking situations,” Secundino said. “It’s to celebrate the stories of resilience and strengths amongst our survivors and thrivers within our communities and it’s to acknowledge that human trafficking is occuring here within our community today.”

Citizens within the community can make a difference by recognizing some of the warning signs that someone may be a victim of human trafficking. Here are some of those signs:

  • Unpaid or not paid fairly for work
  • Unable to leave job due to fear and/or debt
  • Feels threatened or unsafe
  • Forced to perform sex acts
  • Lives at his/her workplace
  • Seeks permission to eat/sleep, etc.
  • Isolated
  • Abused-physically, sexually, emotionally
  • Lacks control over personal schedule, money, identification or travel documents
  • Phone is monitored

If you suspect someone is a victim of trafficking, you can contact the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 1-888-373-7888 or text “HELP” to BeFree (233733). 

For more information on the CVAHT, you can visit their website at

I am 27 years old, born and raised in Fresno, California. I am the youngest of 4 kids and am a full time student at Fresno State University. I am happily engaged to be married to my fiance Daniella. My favorite sports teams are the L.A Rams, Dodgers and Lakers. I have two dogs and one cat. I have my own podcast called “The Two Minute Warning” Podcast that you can listen to on any platform that you listen to your podcasts.