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Emma Lambert

Social Justice

Mr. Gilbert

Period 2

Human Trafficking in California

Human trafficking is a modern day form of slavery that lives within the United States. It

takes many forms through sexual and manual labor. There are false beliefs that human trafficking

does not exist within the United States, however this could not be farther from the truth.

Although it is a worldwide issue, the statistics show that California is one of the states with the

highest rate of victims of human trafficking. This holds true due to the mass market that human

trafficking lands on. One can make millions through the trafficking of human beings, which is

why it can be seen as a popular form of “business.” There are people in this world who believe

that money is worth more than the life of a human, which explains why this is an issue in today’s


Human trafficking occurs all over California. The illegal smuggling of slaves across the

border from Mexico is where California predominantly receives its victims. These illegal

organizations use tactics of capture through “promises of a good life,” abduction, and drugging

(Karimi). Illegal immigrants are vulnerable, and therefore are a common target of human

trafficking in California. The marijuana industry has been frequently linked with human

trafficking. This is due to the lack of jobs for illegal immigrants, which leads them to working on

a marijuana farm. The abduction of victims can happen through threat of deportation. This is a

regular occurrence in Humboldt County, also known as The Emerald Triangle. In 2015 alone,

there have been reports of “352 missing people” in Humboldt County that are believed to be due
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to human trafficking (Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting). Victims of human

trafficking are a silent population of people that must be helped.

A plentiful amount of legislation has been passed to help combat human trafficking in

California. However, human trafficking is still an issue of rising urgency within our society that

has not shown any means of stopping. Which allows one to assume that the current policy is not

sufficient for tackling this issue. The current policy has chosen a path of attacking this issue

through the aftermath rather than taking a preventative stance. An example of this is

the Assembly Bill 1844 (Fletcher, of 2010). This act "provides that any person who commits

human trafficking involving a commercial sex act where the victim of human trafficking was

under 18 years of age shall be punished by a fine of not more than $100,000 to be deposited in

the Victim-Witness Assistance Fund to be available for appropriation to fund services for victims

of human trafficking" (Human Trafficking Legislation). This bill is a step in the right direction

through its donations to Victim-Witness Assistance Funds, however it has proven to not be

enough. Organizations that dedicate their time and effort to this issue cannot solely rely on

funding from fines.

There is not an independent section of the government that singularly devotes all of its

time and effort towards fighting human trafficking. Therefore, I believe that the most effective

use of government spending for human trafficking should be put towards non-profit

organizations. This is because these organizations consist of trained professionals whose sole job

is to fight against human trafficking. This prospective policy would donate more money to

organizations like Unlikely Heroes and Thorn. Unlikely Heroes is an organization that dedicates

its time to the search and rescue of human trafficking victims. Thorn is an organization that
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produces technology and software programs that help catch offenders and save children who are

victims of human trafficking.

There is no one solution to human trafficking, however combatting the issue from a

preventative stance seems to be the most efficient. As well as a proper use of funding which can

make a vast difference within someone’s life. If the federal government would donate all of its

designated funds to organizations that fight to prevent and stop human trafficking, I believe that

our country can make a substantial decrease in the current numbers of human trafficking victims.
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Works Cited

"Human Trafficking in California." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 15 Feb. 2017. Web. 20

Feb. 2017.

"Human Trafficking Legislation." State of California - Department of Justice - Office of the

Attorney General. State of California Department of Justice, 09 June 2016. Web. 20 Feb.


Karimi, Faith. "17 Arrested in Global Sex Trafficking Ring Targeting Thai Women." CNN. Cable

News Network, 6 Oct. 2016. Web. 20 Feb. 2017.

Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting. "The Unspoken Epidemic Of Sexual Abuse

Within The Marijuana Industry." The Huffington Post., 23 Sept.

2016. Web. 20 Feb. 2017.

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