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 County Board of Education Declares January 2019 Human Trafficking Prevention Awareness Month

​The San Diego County Board of Education unanimously passed a resolution at its January 2019 meeting declaring January 2019, Human Trafficking Prevention Awareness Month. The resolution reads:

WHEREAS, Human trafficking is a form of modern-day slavery – a crime that involves the use of force, fraud, or coercion to recruit, harbor, transport, provide, or obtain a person for the purposes of labor or sexual exploitation; and 

WHEREAS, According to the 2016 study The Nature and Extent of Gang Involvement in Sex Trafficking in San Diego County, human trafficking in San Diego County generates approximately $810 million dollars in the underground commercial sex economy each year, and locally, 110 gangs are involved in the commercial exploitation of people; and 

WHEREAS, 90 percent of the high schools studied identified cases of human trafficking involving students; and 

WHEREAS, There are at least 3,500 human trafficking victims in San Diego County each year and the average age of entry of these victims into trafficking is 16; and 

WHEREAS, Almost 80 percent of local victims are U.S. citizens, and many are recruited from San Diego County middle and high schools; and 

WHEREAS, The San Diego County Office of Education (SDCOE) is dedicated to supporting local school districts as they address the commercial sexual exploitation of children (CSEC) by providing professional development, technical assistance, and consultation in prevention and intervention best practices to address the potential or actual victimization of our students; and 

WHEREAS, SDCOE employees represent the education sector in numerous countywide efforts including the San Diego Regional Human Trafficking and CSEC Advisory Council, San Diego County Child Welfare Services CSEC Steering Committee, and RISE Court; and 

WHEREAS, SDCOE employees work alongside key partners – such as the San Diego County District Attorney’s Office, Child Welfare Services, Juvenile Court, Sheriff’s Department, Maternal Child & Family Health Services, Public Health Nursing, Behavioral Health Services, Juvenile Probation, County Counsel, San Diego Human Trafficking Task Force, Dependency Legal Group, San Diego Trafficking Prevention Collective, and other service providers – in supporting collective approaches to address systemwide practices to safeguard our youth; and 

WHEREAS, By taking a proactive approach and adopting the CSEC Recommended Protocols for Schools developed by SDCOE and key partners to address CSEC on our campuses, we are more likely to reduce the incidents of human trafficking in our schools. 

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the San Diego County Board of Education declares January 2019 as Human Trafficking Awareness Month in order to encourage greater awareness of human trafficking. 

PASSED AND ADOPTED this 9th day of January 2019 at the regular meeting of the San Diego County Board of Education. 

The San Diego County Office of Education is dedicated to supporting school district offices, parents, and community-based agencies in issues related to commercial sexual exploitation of children by providing training, staff development, technical assistance, and consultation. Learn more about our efforts to address the commercial sexual exploitation of children.