Mark Ridley-Thomas has been at the forefront of efforts to stop the exploitation of children. He strongly supported the passage of the federal Victims of Trafficking Act signed by President Barack Obama in 2015. The law increases penalties for persons convicted of human trafficking, whose victims are often girls as young as 12-years-old, while providing additional federal funds for counties to provide more health and human services to victims of human trafficking.
He advocated Metro’s “Don’t Be Silent” anti-trafficking ads, 3,000 of which are featured on the transit system’s buses, rail cars and trains to encourage the public to be involved in aiding law enforcement efforts to combat the illegal $32 billion sex trafficking business in the U.S. He strongly supported L.A. County’s $7 million appropriation for sex trafficking prevention and education, and county services for young victims. Mark Ridley-Thomas is not new to addressing the safety and security needs of women and girls. He founded the Rosa Parks Sexual Assault Crisis Center in South Los Angeles when he served as executive director of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) in the 1980s.