HUMAN TRAFFICKING, ALSO KNOWN AS MODERN DAY SLAVERY OR TRAFFICKING IN PERSONS, IS THE EXPLOITATION OF HUMAN BEINGS THROUGH FORCE, FRAUD OR COERCION FOR THE PURPOSES OF COMMERCIAL SEX OR FORCED LABOR.
Any person under age 18 who performs a commercial sex act is considered a victim of human trafficking, regardless of whether force, fraud, or coercion was present. Human trafficking is a multi-billion dollar industry second only to drug trafficking in annual profit. U.S. Department of State estimates that 14,500 to 17,500 persons are brought into the United States each year for labor or sexual exploitation.
Many factors make Los Angeles County a hub for human trafficking. Its proximity to ports and international airports and its diverse population make it an ideal destination and transit stop for trafficked persons. As host to a multitude of vulnerable populations, the region also sees its own residents falling prey to this violation of human rights.
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