Press Releases

Polaris Project, Advocates Launch Billboards to Combat Human Trafficking in Las Vegas

LAS VEGAS, NV – Polaris Project joined today with Nevada Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto, the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department (LVMPD), and Clear Channel Outdoor to announce a new initiative aimed at educating human trafficking victims in Southern Nevada about where they can obtain help.

The joint initiative includes the launch of a billboard campaign that highlights the toll-free and confidential National Human Trafficking Resource Center hotline (1-888-373-7888 or text BeFree to 233733), operated by Polaris Project. Through this 24-hour resource, community members can anonymously report tips of suspected human trafficking or get information, and survivors can get help. The hotline is available in up to 170 languages through the use of interpreters, including Spanish. In 2012, the National Human Trafficking Resource Center Hotline received 20,650 calls. Of those calls, 174 were from Nevada including 106 from Las Vegas.

“These billboards will tell victims of human trafficking that there is a safe place for them to call and get help. It also reminds residents and visitors that sex and labor trafficking are rampant in communities across the United States, including in Las Vegas,” said Keeli Sorensen, Polaris Project’s Director of National Programs.  “Polaris Project is grateful to General Masto, the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, and Clear Channel Outdoor for their leadership and commitment to fighting human trafficking in Nevada.”

“Victims of human trafficking are strongly encouraged to contact the hotline to provide their information in a secure, confidential, and anonymous manner,” said Nevada Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto. “The calls will assist trafficking victims by getting them the help they need, and ultimately to convict those who traffic in human labor and sexual exploitation. I am grateful to our public and private collaboration on an issue that is of critical importance.”

“LVMPD remains committed to identifying and investigating those responsible for the sexual exploitation of our most vulnerable youth into the commercial sex trade,” said Lt. Karen Hughes, Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department. “The Las Vegas community and those who visit here can play a significant role in our fight against human trafficking by being a voice for those kids caught in this ugly crime.” 

“Clear Channel Outdoor has a longstanding history of leveraging its unique position as a highly visible and unskippable medium to aid causes, like Polaris Project, that share our goal of keeping our children, families and communities safe,” said Bill Kurr, general manager, Clear Channel Outdoor-Las Vegas. “Reaching and engaging people with life-saving safety messages through our digital media when they are away from home is an important tool in helping prevent the next child from being taken.  We believe these messages could be pivotal in rescuing victims and bringing their traffickers to justice.”
 

About the Billboard Campaign:

About Polaris Project
Polaris Project is a leading organization in the global fight against human trafficking and modern-day slavery. Named after the North Star “Polaris” that guided slaves to freedom along the Underground Railroad, Polaris Project is transforming the way individuals and communities respond to human trafficking, in the U.S. and worldwide. By successfully pushing for stronger federal and state laws, operating the National Human Trafficking Resource Center hotline, conducting trainings, and providing vital services to victims of trafficking, Polaris Project creates long-term solutions that move our society closer to a world without slavery. Learn more at www.PolarisProject.org.

 
About General Masto’s Human Trafficking Accomplishments:
General Masto is working to make systematic changes to combat human trafficking in Nevada.
During the 77th session of the Nevada Legislature, she introduced and helped pass Assembly Bill 67, which was signed into law and took effect on July 1, 2013.  This law establishes the crime of sex trafficking of children and adults, makes victims eligible for State assistance, and allows them to sue their traffickers.  She is the chair of the Nevada Sexual Exploitation of Minors Working Group and serves as a member of the National Association of Attorneys General Human Trafficking Committee and a liaison to the American Bar Association’s Human Trafficking Task Force to make sure the issue of public awareness, advocacy, training and education is addressed consistently both nationally and locally. 

General Masto hosted a summit that brought together legislators, law enforcement, judges, and service providers to address the issue of sex trafficking.  She has also addressed a United Nations committee in Geneva to update them on efforts to combat sex trafficking and to prevent the exploitation of children in Nevada.  General Masto has also fought to deter advertising related to human trafficking on Backpage.com.

About Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings, Inc.
Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:CCO), one of the world’s largest outdoor advertising companies, reaches approximately 141 million people in the United States and approximately 374 million internationally, with more than 600,000 displays in over 30 countries across five continents, including 49 of the 50 largest markets in the United States. Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings offers many types of displays across its global platform to meet the advertising needs of its customers. This includes a growing digital platform that now offers 914 digital displays across 37 U.S. markets. Clear Channel Outdoor International operates in 30 countries across Asia, Australia and Europe in a wide variety of formats. More information on the company can be found at www.clearchanneloutdoor.com.

To get help, report a tip, or request information or training, call The National Human Trafficking Resource Center at: 1-888-373-7888 or send a text to BeFree (233733).

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