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Sex Trafficking in San Diego

Hieu Nguyen, Staff Writer

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Sex trafficking is like modern day slavery. The U.S. passed the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000 (TVPA) which defines sex trafficking as a “commercial sex act is induced by force, fraud, or coercion, or in which the person induced to perform such act has not attained 18 years of age.” It happens everywhere around the world. According to the Department of Justice, 2,200 of children go missing every day. According to the International Labor Organization, “there are 20.9 million people subjected to forced labor, and 22 percent (4.5 million) are victims of forced sexual exploitation” throughout the world. The most shocking thing about sex trafficking is that the average age that children are forced into sex trafficking is at the age 13.

In San Diego, we live in a very diverse community with many young people. We are also located near the border of Mexico. Sex Trafficking in San Diego can happen regularly due to the location and new people to the country that do not speak English which causes them to be an easy target. According to the U.S. State Department, 600,000 to 800,000 people are trafficked across international borders every year, which 80% of these individuals are female and children.

As a young teen, we are a major target of sex trafficking. Many of us walk home from school, we go out late at night, and we as young adults are easily convinced and make mistakes. Sex Trafficking can be hard to prevent but it is possible. You can help fighting it by donating to anti-human trafficking organizations, report to a trusted adult or the local police department if you know someone is involved. Since San Diego is located near the borders, we are more at risk of being sex trafficking so we should be aware.

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Sex Trafficking in San Diego