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Human Trafficking in Portland? Yes! U.S. Attorney Amanda Marshall and Portland State University reported that at least 469 children were victims of sex trafficking over a four-year period in the Portland Metropolitan Area . The report provided the following disturbing data:
Sex Trafficking Is Happening In Portland! by Jack Kerfoot
The average of the victims was 15 and a half years old. The youngest victim was 8 years old. 96% of the victims were female, 3% male and 1% transgender. 5% of the victims were Caucasian, 27.1% African American and 5.1% Hispanic
Wynne Wakkila, executive director of Fight Against Sex Trafficking & Fight Against Slavery/Trafficking  (FAST) was kind enough to educate me on the epidemic of human trafficking in Oregon. Wynne explained that the Portland metropolitan area is a known hub for sex trafficking. Portland is second only to Las Vegas, Nevada in the number of children found in forced prostitution in the United States.
Human trafficking is the second most profitable criminal activity, after drug-trafficking in the world . Sex trafficking is the exploitation of a person for commercial sexual activity through force, fraud or coercion and involves both adults and children.
Sex traffickers target victims using tailored methods of recruitment and control. Sex traffickers primarily target runaways, abuse victims or homeless youths. The victims are commonly forced into prostitution, pornography, escort services or strip clubs.
Wynne believes the City of Portland should take the following action to stop sex trafficking in our metropolitan area:
Raise the age to work in a strip club from 18 to 21. Strip clubs hire exotic dancers as consultants, avoiding the responsibility of confirming the person's age. If an exotic dancer is an employee of the strip club, the club becomes responsible if an under aged person is hired. Establish shelters which can provide special counseling for sex traffic victims.
Sex-trafficking is a despicable, crime that targets runaways and homeless youths. I will support taking aggressive action against sex-trafficking, if I am elected to the Portland City Council in 2020.
This article was reprinted with permission from Jack Kerfoot. Jack is a candidate for Portland Commissioner.
 Human Trafficking in Oregon: A Report of the Oregon Advisory Committee to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, Feb. 2018.
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