H.E.A.T.Watch – Stop Human Exploitation and Trafficking

Alameda County H.E.A.T. Watch Tip Line: 1-510-208-4959.
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About Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children (CSEC)

“The commercial sexual exploitation of children is the most hidden form of child abuse in North America today. It is the Nation’s least recognized epidemic.” -Richard Estes, University of Pennsylvania, School of Social Work Center for Youth Study.

National Facts on Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children (CSEC):

  • A 2001 University of Pennsylvania study by Richard J. Estes and Neil Alan Weiner found that between 244,000 and 325,000 American children and youth are “at risk” each year of becoming victims of commercial sexual exploitation (e.g., child pornography, juvenile prostitution, and trafficking in children for sexual purposes); many as young as 11 or 12 years of age some even younger.
  • In the same report, it is estimated that 30% of shelter youth and 70% of street youth are victims of CSE
  • One study published in the journal Sexually Transmitted Infections estimates that 1-in-30 US children in (or 3.5% of all adolescents in the US) have exchanged sex for drugs or money; around two thirds of those who had done so were boys.
  • CSEC is more prevalent on west coast than east coast
  • 80% of reported human trafficking cases in California occurred in the Bay Area, Los Angeles and San Diego

Local Facts on CSEC in Alameda County

  • Oakland, CA is a thriving underage sex market, and is the epicenter of a trafficking triangle between San Francisco & Contra Costa counties.

  • The majority of CSE victims are US citizens, 13 to 15 years old, with some as young as 11.

  • From 2006 to early 2011, Oakland Police Department:
  • Reported 1,782 sex trafficking cases
  • Rescued 191 children
  • Obtained CSEC related charges on 71 traffickers
  • Most cases involved multiple traffickers and child victims of CSE
  • Observed a nexus between exploitation & technology in virtually every case
  • Almost all cases involved victim and/or an offender utilizing Internet tools, most notably Backpage.com to further the exploitation