New County Campaign to Combat Human Trafficking

New County Campaign to Combat Human Trafficking

San Diegans will soon see and hear a new County media campaign designed to raise public awareness about human trafficking.

This educational campaign includes radio announcements, outdoor billboards, and digital media to inform children, youth, and their peers on how to protect themselves from exploitation.

Supervisor Jim Desmond's Video - Jun 6, 2024

This was part of an effort I led last year to educate our students about the signs of human trafficking. By arming our students with information about the tactics used by traffickers, we empower them to make informed decisions and recognize when they or their peers may be in danger.

The FBI reports that San Diego is one of the nation’s 13 hotspots for human trafficking. A recent study by two local universities estimates that there are thousands of victims of trafficking annually here in San Diego, and the average age of victims is 16 years old. Rarely is the victim kidnapped. Instead, human traffickers are far more likely to lure their young victims by developing a relationship with the youth, often via social media.

One of the significant factors contributing to the vulnerability of individuals to human trafficking is the issue of open borders. The ease with which traffickers can move across borders has made men, women, and children increasingly susceptible to exploitation.

As County Supervisor, I am deeply concerned about the impact of human trafficking on our community. Predators target young girls and boys, subjecting them to a life of sexual exploitation through coercion and manipulation. These victims are thrust into an abyss of despair, their dreams and aspirations shattered and replaced with unimaginable suffering.

Last year, I held a human trafficking town hall alongside our District Attorney, Summer Stephan. I strongly encourage you to watch the video recording, which you can find linked below:

Law enforcement and prosecution efforts alone are not enough to stop these human rights violations. Prevention through education, especially at a young age, is the best defense against exploitation, particularly in this era of social media.

To report suspected child abuse or neglect, please call the Child Abuse Hotline at 858-560-2191, available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. You can also visit the County’s Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children webpage and the District Attorney’s Protect San Diego Kids webpage for additional resources.

Recent responses