Sam Carpenter on Human Trafficking

Every year, an estimated 100,000 children are forced into prostitution across the nation. According to the National Human Trafficking Hotline, since 2007, there have been over 1,800 calls, resulting in over 400 cases, in Oregon alone – and that’s just the few who are reported. Portland, due to a combination of geography and demographics, is often cited as the nation’s top city for child sex trafficking.

The problem isn’t just the exploitation of children. Migrant labor trafficking is a serious problem across the nation, but especially in Oregon, where sanctuary laws and lax labor enforcement provide a haven for “coyotes,” predators who deal in human smuggling across international borders.

We must:

  • Sponsor legislation to increase sentences for child sex trafficking and provide resources to help child victims recover
  • Work closely with the FBI’s Child Exploitation Task Force to crack down on trafficking rings in Oregon
  • Direct state law enforcement agencies and the Bureau of Labor and Industries to make labor exploitation a priority
  • End Oregon sanctuary and cooperate with federal immigration authorities to reduce human trafficking from foreign nations

Human trafficking is an affront to liberty that brutalizes our most vulnerable citizens and exploits workers from around the world. It must end. It must end now.