Ministry Group To Offer Help To Human Trafficking Victims

A Christian ministry group is holding a 24-hour human trafficking rescue operation today in Oakland.

Victory Outreach launched “Operation Code Red,” an effort to reach, rescue and relocate victims of human trafficking and prostitution in Oakland, San Francisco and Richmond, according to the organization.

The event began today at the Fruitvale Transit Village at noon, where City Councilman Noel Gallo joined an estimated 400 volunteers as they registered and received instructions.

Volunteers will then spread out to parts of Oakland, San Francisco and Richmond in search of victims of human trafficking and prostitution, according to Victory Outreach.

Volunteers will offer victims the chance to be transported to a local lounge set up for victims, where they can eat, rest and shower. Volunteers will also offer victims the opportunity to be transported to another city, where Victory Outreach has recovery homes equipped with services to help the victims, organizers said.

“The goal is to get them to want to leave. We have vans to take them to other cities,” Victory Outreach employee Reuben Vigil said. “And if they don’t want to leave, the lounge is just a safe place for them to hang out.”

Victory Outreach International is also conducting simultaneous “Operation Code Red” events in other cities today, including some in other countries.

Cities with simultaneous events include Los Angeles, Phoenix, Dallas, Chicago, Philadelphia, New York, Tijuana, Mexico City, Cape Town, Caracas, Amsterdam and London.

The event concludes Friday as volunteers will meet at the Fruitvale Transit Village at 11 a.m. and then walk to San Antonio Park for a farewell barbecue at noon, organizers said.

Daniel Montes, Bay City News

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