I'm currently working on a project for the state of California for training peace officers to recognize the victims of human trafficking. At first glance it would seem obvious who the victims are. The stereotypical image of a trafficking victim is someone who has been smuggled into this country on a ship from China or a third world country and arrives in chains. But in reality the victims today in California comes from all parts of society. I was very surprised to learn that the victims of human trafficking range from young to old from rich to poor and everywhere in between. They do not have to come from other countries human trafficking victims are trafficked right here in California
The world's oldest profession, prostitution has a very high rate of human trafficking victims. It's estimated that approximately 90% of all prostitutes today in California are being victimized and trafficked by their pimps. I was very surprised to learn this but when you think about it, it only makes sense. There is no way most young women would participate voluntarily.
I am pleased to be part of this training project because it will help victims and offer them the hope of a better life. When it's completed and distributed to law enforcement it will make a difference in people's lives.