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#minorsextrafficking | Opinion: Children Are Being Trafficked in San Diego, But We Can End The Exploitation | #parenting | #parenting | #kids


An officer talks with a sex trafficking victim. Courtesy FBI

With January’s Human Trafficking Awareness Month behind us, we are reminded of how much work we still have left to do to put an end to commercial sexual exploitation and human trafficking.

Human trafficking is a form of modern-day slavery, where people are sold as property. Shockingly, the average age of entry into commercial sexual exploitation is 16 years old, with our children being trafficked right here in San Diego County — in many of our own neighborhoods.

When you think of human trafficking, you may imagine it happening far away, but San Diego is actually one of our country’s hotspots. According to the FBI, San Diego is ranked as one of the 13 worst regions in the United States for human trafficking, with 3,000 to 8,000 victims trafficked each year. The exact number is unknown.

After drug trafficking, it is San Diego’s largest underground economy at an estimated $810 million annually.

Most victims of trafficking are not kidnapped during broad daylight and locked away. That still happens, but it is rare. Instead, human trafficking is a crime that is perpetuated against some of the most vulnerable members of our society through deception, coercion and force.



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