$50,000 Grant Put Toward Human Trafficking Prevention in San Diego
The San Diego Rotary Club Foundation announced Monday it would be offering $50,000 in grants towards programs that will aim to provide human trafficking prevention training for teachers. The initiative intends to target 5th, 7th, 9th, and 11th-grade educators, as these grades are crucial times in students’ lives where they may become a victim of human trafficking.
The Foundation is a strong supporter of the work done by the San Diego Rotary, the fourth largest Rotary Club in the world. “We believe that human trafficking is greatly impacting our local youth, and we want to support the education of teachers to recognize the victims and take action to prevent ongoing abuse,” said David Oates, President of San Diego Rotary. “Doing so is also in line with our mission to drive meaningful change at home and around the world.”
Earlier this year, the FBI announced that San Diego ranks among the 13 worst regions in the country for human trafficking. A 2016 study released by the University of San Diego and Point Loma Nazarene University showed that there are at least 3,000 trafficking victims per year in San Diego county. Most of these victims are teenagers of U.S. citizenry who unknowingly contribute to this $100+ million illicit industry each year.
Much of the trafficking activity in San Diego is controlled by street gangs, which have turned prostitution into one of their top generating revenue streams. Homeless and foster youth are at greatest risk of recruitment, but trafficking affects people of all ages.
The San Diego County District Attorney’s Office announced an initiative to help curb the expansion of human trafficking by implementing programs to spread awareness and provide training for every public school within the county.
This generous and crucial grant will be a major factor that will bolster these programs and allow for San Diegan’s to be better equipped to fight the scourge of human trafficking. Law enforcement and government organizations are already tuned in to this, but providing educators the tools to recognize at-risk kids and teach students how to avoid falling victim to trafficking will go a long way in putting to this dark practice.