Calif. Laws take Aim At Reducing Human Trafficking

SACRAMENTO (AP) - Underage prostitutes in Alameda County will
get treatment and counseling under a new California law meant to
strengthen protections for victims of human trafficking.

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is signing two bills to stem human
trafficking. California and its large immigrant population have seen trafficking victims in everything from prostitution to industrial sweatshops.

In Oakland, juveniles made up most of the 27 human trafficking
prostitution cases investigated there in 2006 and 2007. A San
Francisco Bay Area-wide prostitution sting in 2007 caught four girls under 18, including one who had brought her 8-month-old child with her to work.

The bill signed on Sunday creates the pilot counseling and treatment program in Oakland and the rest of Alameda County.

A second bill lets victims of human trafficking keep their names out of the public record and requires law enforcement to diligently investigate trafficking cases regardless of citizenship status.
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(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

AP-NY-09-27-08 2041EDT

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