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Human Trafficking

Human trafficking is the world's fastest growing criminal enterprise and is an estimated $32 billion-a-year global industry. It is a form of modern day slavery that profits from the exploitation of our most vulnerable populations. Attorney General Harris is focused on combating the pervasive issue of human trafficking in California and has made it one of her top priorities.

In March 2014, Attorney General Harris released Gangs Beyond Borders: California and the Fight Against Transnational Organized Crime, the first comprehensive report analyzing the current state of transnational criminal organizations in California. In recent years, transnational criminal organizations and affiliated domestic gangs have expanded from drug and firearm trafficking to the trafficking of human beings. From cross-border tunnels for transporting victims to domestic recruiting of vulnerable populations in our local communities, these criminal organizations have set aside traditional rivalries to set up commercial sex rings that profit from the sale of human beings, in particular young women and girls.

Attorney General Harris’ 2014 report on transnational organized crime followed her earlier work in creating a Human Trafficking Work Group and the release of a report, The State of Human Trafficking in California, which outlined the growing issue of this crime in the state and noted that 72% of human trafficking victims whose country of origin was identified are American. Attorney General Harris’ 2012 and 2014 reports emphasize the importance of statewide collaboration – amongst law enforcement, non-profit service providers, and the public – in fighting the scourge of human trafficking. The perpetrators of human trafficking have become more sophisticated and organized, requiring an equally sophisticated response from law enforcement and its partners to disrupt and dismantle their networks.

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