A new Portland State University report (pdf) commissioned by the Department of Justice provides hard data about of child trafficking in the Portland metro area. Over the past several years, we’ve talked about efforts to address this crime, but researchers say the numbers provide a new window into the problem. The study found in part:
- The average age that victims were referred to services in Oregon was 15-and-a-half; the youngest victim was eight years old.
- About 17 percent have had a baby.
- More than 50 percent of cases have a gang connection.
U.S. Attorney Amanda Marshall, who commissioned the report, says she expects the information in the report to have real world impacts:
[W]e are giving policy makers, social service providers, and other stakeholders the data they need to respond to the needs of these children.
Are you a survivor of child trafficking? Do you work with victims? What policies have you seen that are effective?
- Christopher Carey: Assistant professor at Portland State University; author of the new report on child trafficking
- Erin Ellis: Executive director of the Sexual Assault Resource Center