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New initiative to teach kids how to avoid human trafficking

Posted at 12:17 PM, Jan 22, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-22 20:37:22-05

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - The San Diego District Attorney’s office announced Tuesday a program to talk to students in San Diego about human trafficking, including those in elementary school.

Schools across the county confirm sex traffickers actively recruit children on or near school campuses. They also use social media to lure victims.

District Attorney Summer Stephan says the $3 million program will help teach students to know the signs of human trafficking and how to avoid it.

The “San Diego Trafficking Prevention Collective” is the first of its kind in the country. It will bring three unique programs to schools, that are designed for different age groups. So far, 700 teachers around the county have been trained on this issue.

Sex trafficking is San Diego’s largest underground economy after drug trafficking. The underground market generates an estimated $810 million a year.

The “San Diego Trafficking Prevention Collective” is a public-private partnership between the district attorney’s office and UBS Optimus Foundation.

At the end of the initial three years of the program, leaders hope to have 10,000 school staff members trained and reach 345,000 students in San Diego County.