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'These children are victims,' LA Councilwoman tackles human trafficking

Human trafficking is a global issue, as evidenced by this recent protest in London.
Human trafficking is a global issue, as evidenced by this recent protest in London.
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There's a long stretch of Sepulveda Boulevard in Van Nuys that's dominated with strip malls and motels. It's also a pretty well-known area for prostitution and human trafficking.

Los Angeles City Councilwoman Nury Martinez grew up in the valley so she knows all about this problem. To tackle it, she put together a task force a few years ago including teaming up with some researchers from Cal State Northridge to track this activity. 

Take Two's A Martinez spoke with Councilwoman Martinez about their findings and the solutions she has to stop it. 

*Warning: some of the discussion may not be suitable for younger audiences.* 


On the challenge of getting people talking: 

It's an uncomfortable issue to talk about sex. It's an uncomfortable issue to acknowledge that these kids are American girls. People want to pretend that these kids come from other countries— which they do. But the majority of the kids that get trafficked in our city are American girls or are coming from other states. These girls are coming from as far as Memphis and Texas. These kids have probably been molested and raped repeatedly and are threatened to stand on the corners of some of our major cities to sell their bodies for sex. 

To hear the full interview click on the Media Player above.