Human and Sex trafficking is detrimental to Native communities.  "Native Americans are victimized by human trafficking at rates higher than that of the general population. Though statistics are few and far between, testimony from experts, activists, and tribal leaders – as well as independent investigations – have revealed a disproportionate impact. In a study conducted at four sites in the U.S. and Canada, 'an average of 40 percent of women involved in sex trafficking identified as an AI/AN or First Nations,' yet Native women represent 10 percent or less of the general population in the studied communities" -Human Trafficking Search. Human and Sex trafficking is represented by a dark blue, support victims of human and sex trafficking by educating yourself on the resources and statistics below.

The difference between human & sex trafficking

human trafficking

Human trafficking is a form of modern-day slavery where perpetrators profit from the sexual exploitation and/or forced labor of men, women and children. It is a violation of basic human rights, and it is also a crime as defined by U.S. federal law and California state law.

Sex trafficking

Sex trafficking is the exploitation of a person by means including coercion or deceit to engage in commercial sexual activity, prostitution, exotic dancing, or pornography. When the victim is a minor under the age of 18 years old, sex trafficking does not require force or coercion. Minors cannot legally consent to sexual activity.

Warning signs

  • Running away from home
  • Truancy, chronic absenteeism
  • Sudden drop in grades
  • Change of friends or alienation from regular friends
  • Rumors among students regarding sex activities
  • Sudden change in behavior, attitude or attire
  • Anger, aggression, being suicidal or fearful
  • Claims of a new and mysterious/secretive “boyfriend”Use of drugs (i.e. marijuana and ecstasy)
  • Weight loss
  • Bruises or other physical trauma
  • New cell phone or multiple cell phones
  • Use of terminology related to prostitution
  • Tattoos that are related to pimping/prostitution activity
  • Secrecy with social media and phone

The parents, teachers, employers, counselors, nurses, doctors, other professionals and friends of Trafficking victims are often unaware of the abuse that is happening right in front of their eyes.

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Ways to help


“In order to escape accountability for his crimes, the perpetrator does everything in his power to promote forgetting. If secrecy fails, the perpetrator attacks the credibility of his victim. If he cannot silence her absolutely, he tries to make sure no one listens” -Judith Lewis Herman, Trauma and Recovery: The Aftermath of Violence - From Domestic Abuse to Political Terror

  • Learn the indicators of human trafficking on the TIP Office’s website or by taking a training. Human trafficking awareness training is available for individuals, businesses, first responders, law enforcement, educators, and federal employees, among others
  • Volunteer and support anti-trafficking efforts in your community
  • Meet with and/or write to your local, state, and federal elected officials to let them know you care about combating human trafficking and ask what they are doing to address it
  • Be well-informed. Set up a web alert to receive current human trafficking news. Also, check out CNN’s Freedom Project for more stories on the different forms of human trafficking around the world


  • A person cannot consent to become enslaved
  • 27 million people are trafficked each year worldwide, with approximately 18,000 victims in the U.S. (U.S. Department of State
  • California, a populous border state with a significant immigrant population is the nation’s top four destination states
  • Most profitable criminal enterprises with estimates of profit worldwide of $32 billion, and $9.5 billion annually in the U.S.
  • Human trafficking does not require that a victim be moved over state or international borders. Human Trafficking is also a domestic issue inside California State and San Diego County
  • Smuggling is based on transportation; Trafficking is based on exploitation (although the two can occur together)
  • San Diego was identified by the FBI as of the top 13 high intensity child prostitution areas
  • Sexual exploitation and its related forms of pimping and pandering form the majority of criminal prosecution


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