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California's 40th District

Apr 18, 2022 | In The News

A task force dedicated to eradicating human trafficking in Southern California and beyond was recently launched by Congresswoman Young Kim (R – CA 39th District).

The Human Trafficking Congressional Task Force, which was first announced in February, held its inaugural meeting in Placentia on March 21. It brought together nearly a dozen community leaders, including police and nonprofit workers, for a roundtable discussion on how to deal with the crisis.

“Human trafficking is modern day slavery that exploits some of the most vulnerable members of our community,” said Congresswoman Kim. “These unconscionable crimes should not find safe harbor in our homes, neighborhoods, streets or ports.”

The epidemic of human trafficking, Kim said, has grown worse over the course of the pandemic. In recent years, several high-profile cases have occurred in and around Kim’s district in Southern California. In 2019, over 1,500 cases were reported across the state.

Trafficking is more difficult to spot than many people think: according to Sergeant Juan Reveles of the Anaheim Police Department, many human trafficking cases do not involve overt signs of slavery, such as cages or manacles.

In its inaugural meeting, the members of the Task Force proposed several solutions to the problem, including raising awareness in the educational system, helping to provide vulnerable teenagers with financial support, and closing legal loopholes for those accused of child trafficking.

Kim’s creation of the Task Force has earned support from several community leaders and experts on the topic, including Orange County Sheriff Don Barnes, Crittenton Services for Children and Families CEO Greg Eubanks, and Waymakers OC Chief Program Officer Lita Mercado.

The Task Force is expected to meet quarterly into the future, bringing together community members for further discussions, with the potential to influence the legislative process.

California Courier

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