Study released regarding sex trafficking on the California border

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A newly released National Institute of Justice sponsored-study from San Diego State University attempts to shine light on the ongoing issue of international sex trafficking. The study focuses on the major border crossing between California and Tijuana, Mexico. The author chose this location because it’s considered a “major tourism and weekend destination for Southern Californians…It’s red light district draws a large number of visitors from both sides of the border…[and] there is no shortage of demand for fringe services.”

This study included “interviews with 220 women from Tijuana’s sex industry, 92 pimps and sex trade facilitators, 30 government and law enforcement officials, and 20 community based-service providers.”

[Access the study]

The inclusion of community based-service providers and victim advocacy organizations in this study demonstrates how important rape crisis centers and other non-profits have been in providing services to those in need and exposing and disrupting trafficking markets. Victim advocacy organizations should continue to partner with their local officials and law enforcement to find innovative and effective ways at raising public awareness about the growing problem of sex trafficking. From the study:

“…among the most effective ways to reduce sex trafficking is perhaps through a public awareness campaign…The idea is to create and maintain a hostile socio-legal environment for sex traffickers and increase victims awareness of available services.”

The report offers several other suggestions on how non-profits, victim advocates, and public officials can do to further prevent the growth of trafficking. You can download the report by visiting this link, Sex Trafficking in a Border Community: A Field Study of Sex Trafficking in Tijuana, Mexico.

Let us know how you’re fighting to end sex trafficking in your community!

Phillip Ung has been the Public Policy for CALCASA since February 2010. He provides support, analysis, and outreach on media and policy related issues. Prior to arriving at CALCASA, Phillip served as a media aide for the Obama for America campaign, legislative aide to a state legislator, and most recently as an advocate for a political consulting firm. Phillip serves on the Judicial Council’s Violence Against Women Education Project, CDCR’s GPS Taskforce, Public Safety Realignment Working Group, and works closely with the CA Sex Offender Management Board.

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  • Anna June 16, 2011, 8:03 AM

    There’s a terrific book everyone should share with their friends and age-appropriate children: “Sold”, a harrowing first-person account of trafficking, rape, and being freed. It’s by Patricia McCormick and it’s the only book of its kind I’ve seen. Highly recommended for those who want to learn more about these issues. Proceeds from the book supports Anuradha Koirala’s anti-trafficking organization, Maiti Nepal.