San Luis Obispo County has a reputation for being one of the happiest places in the United States. However, this fact is somewhat lost to the victims of human trafficking that occurs in our county and surrounding areas. Just two years ago, a local couple was arrested by the FBI and charged with human trafficking. In fact, human trafficking is the secondlargest criminal industry in the world. The question is: What can you or I do to make a difference in the fight against human exploitation and trafficking?
This month, we have an opportunity to stand up for these victims: We can vote “yes” on Proposition 35. This measure increases penalties, mandates registration of offenders, restricts offenders’ Internet privacy, educates police on human-trafficking prevention and helps to raise funds for victim services.
Opponents of Proposition 35 protest that it will increase prison numbers and cost the taxpayers more money. However, turning our backs on the problem only helps to increase the abuse.
Traffickers take advantage of the anonymity of the Internet to conduct their business without public knowledge. Proposition 35 makes it much more difficult for traffickers to hide this activity. Vote “yes” on Proposition 35.