Report Details Human Trafficking in Silicon Valley; Half of Victims Are U.S.-Born

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According to a new study commissioned by Juniper Networks Foundation Fund and Silicon Valley Community Foundation, more than 50 percent of identified trafficking victims in Silicon Valley are born in the United States, while the vast majority of victims are poor and female.

This modern-day slavery is real and occurring every day in Silicon Valley, not just in far-flung parts of the world.-- Dr. Emmett Carson, CEO and president, Silicon Valley Community Foundation

According to a new study, more than 50 percent of identified trafficking victims in Silicon Valley are born in the United States, while the vast majority of victims are poor and female.

Human trafficking has become one of the world’s most lucrative and despicable criminal enterprises, and the San Francisco Bay Area is a known hotspot. Because relatively little is known about the nature and scope of the problem in Silicon Valley, Juniper Networks Foundation Fund and Silicon Valley Community Foundation partnered to commission a first-of-its-kind study of human trafficking in the two-county region. The study was conducted by Not For Sale, an organization working internationally in the fight against human trafficking. Results were drawn from more than 200 case records of victims identified and served by community-based organizations in San Mateo and Santa Clara counties over a three-year period.

“This modern-day slavery is real and occurring every day in Silicon Valley, not just in far-flung parts of the world,” said Dr. Emmett Carson, CEO and president of Silicon Valley Community Foundation. “In pursuing this research, we found that human trafficking is a complex form of exploitation that affects people of all ages and different nationalities, including U.S. citizens. More must be done to end this horrific crime.”

“Human trafficking is a vast global industry that generates over $150 billion in revenue annually,” said Steven Rice, executive vice president of Juniper Networks and chair of the Juniper Networks Foundation Fund. “The Juniper Foundation has been an active partner in helping to end this cycle of modern-day slavery. This report was commissioned to establish a more robust understanding of the root causes in California and the gaps in services that we, as a community, can address.”

Among the study’s key findings:

  • More than 50 percent of human trafficking victims identified in the study were born in the United States; 19 percent in Mexico; and 18 percent in Asia. The public perception is that human trafficking is a crime that occurs mostly in other parts of the world and that victims are from other countries.
  • Most of the victims identified in this study were female (86 percent), young when they first experienced exploitation, and poor. In fact, the findings indicate that poverty is a risk factor for human trafficking regardless of the type of exploitation endured. It is also a barrier to victims’ long-term recovery.
  • While commercial sexual exploitation was the most common form of trafficking reported in this study, forced labor also was evident.
  • Incidents of exploitation reported in this study often occurred to the same victim in multiple locations across the Bay Area, indicating that traffickers frequently relocate their victims.
  • Victims often turn to community-based organizations when they first seek help. But most of these organizations cannot adequately address victims’ long-term needs for job-skills training, affordable housing and lawful work experience.

Among the recommendations that emerged from the report were that further research be done to document the number of victims, investigations and arrests; that agencies, including law enforcement, community-based organizations and government, work together to bring more traffickers to justice; and that public-private partnerships be implemented to improve services to victims, especially in the area of housing, job training and employment opportunities.

To read the full report, click here.

About Silicon Valley Community Foundation

Silicon Valley Community Foundation makes all forms of philanthropy more powerful. We serve as a catalyst and leader for innovative solutions to our region’s most challenging problems, and through our donors we award more money to charities than any other community foundation in the United States. SVCF has more than $4.7 billion in assets under management. As Silicon Valley’s center of philanthropy, we provide thousands of individuals, families and corporations with simple and effective ways to give locally and around the world. Find out more at http://www.siliconvalleycf.org.

About Juniper Networks Foundation Fund

Juniper’s philanthropic activities are an important part of who we are as a global organization. Since its inception over a decade ago the Juniper Networks Foundation Fund has granted more than $11 million to organizations that make lasting, meaningful differences throughout the world. Juniper has contributed to projects and programs in the San Francisco Bay Area, New Jersey, Bangalore, Karnataka, Orissa, Kenya, Ethiopia, Zambia and South Africa. Our employee-driven efforts have assisted 500 non-profits worldwide that educate and support those in need. The Juniper Networks Foundation seeks to create a positive impact on the underserved and undereducated by focusing on two groups within the global population that clearly require assistance: women and children victimized by human trafficking and slavery, and K12 science, technology, engineering and math education programs that serve communities in need. Through ongoing efforts and programs, we seek to create a positive impact for underserved individuals and communities by providing both financial support and engaging in volunteerism. http://www.juniper.net

About Juniper Networks

Juniper Networks delivers innovation across routing, switching and security. From the network core down to consumer devices, Juniper Networks’ innovations in software, silicon and systems transform the experience and economics of networking. Additional information can be found at Juniper Networks (http://www.juniper.net) or connect with Juniper on Twitter and Facebook.

Juniper Networks and Junos are registered trademarks of Juniper Networks, Inc. in the United States and other countries. The Juniper Networks and Junos logos are trademarks of Juniper Networks, Inc. All other trademarks, service marks, registered trademarks, or registered service marks are the property of their respective owners.

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