California Human Trafficking Legislation Driven by USD Research

  • Assembly Bill 1227: Mandating human trafficking prevention education in all middle and high schools in California (Assembly Bill 1227)
  • SB 794: Requiring mandatory reporting of minor-age victims of commercial sexual exploitation
  • Assembly Bill 1708: Imposing more severe repercussions for the buyers of sex (Assembly Bill 1708)
  • Extending foster care benefits to young victims of trafficking
  • Prohibiting minors from being charged for prostitution (SB 1322)
  • Requiring children contacted by Child Welfare Services and the county Probation Department to be screened for risk indicators of involvement in sex-trafficking
  • Allowing past victims of an accused trafficker to testify during trial to support the claims of the current victim, a right previously limited to victims of sex crimes and domestic violence
  • Removing (“vacating”) from victims’ criminal record non-violent offenses that were committed during the period they were being trafficked  

Collectively, these laws are more victim-centered and focus on early intervention, and reporting from the San Diego Union-Tribune suggests they have led to “steady progress”. 

  • County officials launched the “Ugly Truth”, a public awareness campaign that ran from June-August 2017. In those three months, the number of calls from San Diego to the National Human Trafficking hotline increased by 65 percent. 

Mayor Faulkner and City Council declared January as Human Trafficking Awareness Month in 2017; the County Board of Education adopted the same resolution in 2019. The study’s findings are embedded within every trafficking awareness training and school curriculum in San Diego.