SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – A partnership agreement was signed Thursday by San Francisco District Attorney George Gascon and leaders of local community organizations dedicated to ending youth human trafficking.

The “Exploit No More Youth” hotline is available to any young person who has been trafficked into slavery or the sex trade.

“One of the messages that we want to get out there very clearly is that we do not view these young people as suspects. We do not view them as criminals,” Gascon said. “To the contrary, we view them as the victim and someone that needs services.”

The hotline will be staffed 24 hours a day by Larking Street Youth Services, which was founded in 1984 by a group of local business owners, church members and neighbors. The organization provides homeless, runaway and at-risk kids services they need to get their life back in order.

The group Standing Against Global Exploitation will handle case management and Kaina Walker with the Youth Justice Institute said they’ll provide mental health services.

“Trafficked youth are not forgotten about because I think that this is a population that oftentimes we don’t want to see or we don’t know how to handle and therefore it doesn’t exist,” she said. “I appreciate this opportunity to be able to continue services.”

The National Human Trafficking Resource Center reports its hotline received nearly 20,000 calls in 2011, with the highest number coming from California.

The number for the “Exploit No More Youth Hotline” is (800) 669-6196.

(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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