“Fourteen minors were among the nearly 50 victims of human trafficking rescued during a sting across California that netted 339 arrests, law enforcement officials said Tuesday.
Some of the victims found by law enforcement were as young as 13 while other cases involved children as young as 6, Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials said during a news conference alongside other authorities. Ninety-three human trafficking task forces and teams from various counties were part of the 3-day operation.
Among those arrested during “Operation Reclaim and Rebuild” were pimps who had put victims up for sale and individuals soliciting sex from underage teens, sheriff’s officials said. Some of those saved from the underground world of sex trafficking were runaways or victims found through social media and chat sites online.”
” Human trafficking is the business of stealing freedom for profit. In some cases, traffickers trick, defraud or physically force victims into providing commercial sex. In others, victims are lied to, assaulted, threatened or manipulated into working under inhumane, illegal or otherwise unacceptable conditions. It is a multi-billion dollar criminal industry that denies freedom to 24.9 million people around the world. “
Trafficking primarily involves exploitation which comes in many forms, including: forcing victims into prostitution, subjecting victims to slavery or involuntary servitude and compelling victims to commit sex acts for the purpose of creating pornography.
According to some estimates, approximately 80% of trafficking involves sexual exploitation, and 19% involves labor exploitation.
There are approximately 20 to 30 million slaves in the world today.
According to the U.S. State Department, 600,000 to 800,000 people are trafficked across international borders every year, of which 80% are female and half are children.
The average age a teen enters the sex trade in the U.S. is 12 to 14-year-old. Many victims are runaway girls who were sexually abused as children.
California harbors 3 of the FBI’s 13 highest child sex trafficking areas on the nation: Los Angeles, San Francisco and San Diego.
The National Human Trafficking Hotline receives more calls from Texas than any other state in the US. 15% of those calls are from the Dallas-Fort Worth area.
Between 14,500 and 17,500 people are trafficked into the U.S. each year.
Human trafficking is the third largest international crime industry (behind illegal drugs and arms trafficking). It reportedly generates a profit of $32 billion every year. Of that number, $15.5 billion is made in industrialized countries.
The International Labour Organization estimates that women and girls represent the largest share of forced labor victims with 11.4 million trafficked victims (55%) compared to 9.5 million (45%) men.”
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