I am pleased to coauthor Senate Concurrent Resolution 88 (SCR 88), which proclaims January 2016 as Human Trafficking Awareness Month.
Human trafficking, a form of modern day slavery, has become increasingly prevalent, placing the United States in the top three world trafficking destinations. Unfortunately, San Diego’s involvement in this repugnant crime wave is significant.
A recent joint study by the University of San Diego and Point Loma Nazarene University estimated that underage and adult sex- trafficking victims in San Diego County number between 8,830 and 11,773 each year. San Diego County’s sex trafficking business generates an estimated annual income of $810 million, supporting an underground economy second only to the illicit drug trade. Sex trafficking involves at least 110 gangs countywide – it is believed that 85 percent of local sex traffic facilitators are involved with gangs.
The average age of entry into child commercial sexual exploitation is 15. Most victims are female, with significant recruitment occurring on middle and high school campuses.
Aside from the trauma inflicted on individual victims, illegal trafficking contributes to increasing levels of violent crime throughout California.
Obviously, more needs to be done to inform the public to deter this malicious form of human exploitation. It is my hope that passage of SCR 88 will highlight what is happening in our communities and help save more victims from this life-shattering crime.