In a huge investigation dubbed Operation Lost Angels, authorities in the US have found 33 missing children while investigating human trafficking.
Keep scrolling to learn more.
Thirty-three children have been found.
The FBI have announced that 33 missing children have been recovered in a huge operation.
The investigation was dubbed Operation Lost Angels.
And looked into human trafficking.
The FBI worked with local authorities.
The FBI and the LAPD launched the anti-trafficking operation in Southern California on January 11.
They also worked with over two dozen law enforcement and non-governmental partners.
In their announcement, the FBI noted that eight of the 33 children located were being sexually exploited.
Several others had been exploited in the past.
Following a multi-day operation known as #LostAngels, the FBI in partnership with @LAPDHQ & @LASDHQ surged resources & worked with more than 2 dozen partners to rescue 33 minors-many of whom were being trafficked on the streets of LA. Details to follow. #HumanTraffickingAwareness pic.twitter.com/OQyHvr4Pth— FBI Los Angeles (@FBILosAngeles) January 22, 2021
Many others were considered vulnerable missing children, prior to their recovery.
FBI assistant director Johnson said in a statement:
Operation “Lost Angels”— LAPD HQ (@LAPDHQ) January 24, 2021
33 missing children recovered, 8 being sexually exploited
A partnership amongst the LAPD, @LASDHQ, @FBILosAngeles & more than two dozen agencies, united for one cause—to end the vicious cycle of human trafficking. https://t.co/WD0Y50TmVH
The FBI considers human trafficking modern day slavery and the minors engaged in commercial sex trafficking are considered victims.
The statement continued:
Multi-Day Joint Agency Operation 'Lost Angels' Leads to the Recovery of 33 Missing Children During Trafficking Awareness Month: Assistant Director in Charge Kristi K. Johnson, of the FBI’s Los Angeles Field Office, announced the results of Operation Los... https://t.co/nbvnJS2El1— FBI Los Angeles (@FBILosAngeles) January 22, 2021
While this operation surged resources over a limited period of time with great success, the FBI and our partners investigate child sex trafficking every day of the year and around the clock.
Michel Moore, chief of the Los Angeles Police Department, also commented on the operation.
Human trafficking is a pervasive and insidious crime that threatens the safety of our young people, who are the future of our communities.
We can only begin to take back the future of our youth with the strong partnerships forged between outstanding service providers and law enforcement.
The FBI have also vowed to give aid to those they have recovered.
33 missing children rescued in massive LA-based human trafficking operation, FBI said Friday. https://t.co/mT20tCRWiE— NBC News (@NBCNews) January 24, 2021
In a statement released by the FBI, they vow to 'provide much needed resources to victims to ensure that their short- and long-term needs are met'.
FBI locates 33 missing children found in anti-human trafficking operation in Southern California. — Thirty-three missing children, including eight who were sexually abused, were rescued as a result of a multi-agency investigation in Southern California. FBI.— Michael Grossman (@MichaelArt123) January 24, 2021
'Immediate medical requirements; legal services; housing; employment; education; job training; and childcare, among others', the statement reads.
CBS LA: 33 missing children rescued in Los Angeles trafficking operation, says FBI— Josh Caplan (@joshdcaplan) January 24, 2021
Worryingly, the FBI claim that it is common for victims of sex trafficking to return.
Either by choice or by force.
This harmful cycle highlights the challenges victims face and those faced by law enforcement when attempting to keep victims from returning to an abusive situation.
"Victims may not self-identify as being trafficked or may not even realise they're being trafficked."
One of the suspected human traffickers was detained.
Wonderful job! Thank you for saving these children!!❤❤— Asha Sankar (@ashasankar5) January 24, 2021
Some of the minor victims were also arrested for violating probation, as well as a number of other charges, including robbery and other misdemeanours.
One of the children was found to be a victim of noncustodial parental kidnapping.
Thank you - nice work and keep it up!— Robyn (@ballerinaoaf) January 23, 2021
Which is when a non-custodial parent takes the child without permission or refuses to return the child after a designated visitation time.
Recently there's been a huge rise in sex trafficking.
Thank you heroes. Job Well done. Please continue saving children of God. May God Bless you always and may the good Lord Jesus and His Holy Mother Mary keep you close to their sacred hearts.— KindheartedSaugusStrong (@HDCDimithriP) January 24, 2021
And there is currently more than 1,800 investigations ongoing as of November last year.
The FBI have urged people not to be silent.
Continue to rescue our children! Great job to all that were contributors! 👏— Ant (@barbarbrooo) January 24, 2021
And more specifically to contact their local police or FBI department if they think they've witnessed human trafficking.
The FBI concluded their press release, stating:
Great work everyone !!! 💙🙏💙— Amazons Rising For Artsakh (@knowyourbrain20) January 24, 2021
Anyone who believes they may be victims of human trafficking may call the National Human Trafficking Resource Center Hotline (NHTRC) at 888-373-7888 or visit https://humantraffickinghotline.org/ The NHTRC is a national, confidential, toll-free hotline, with specialists available to answer calls at all times.
It's sickening that we live in a time where this still happens.
Hopefully justice will be served.