AAP Positional Letter
March 14, 2018
The Honorable Mark Stone
Chair, Assembly Judiciary Committee
Legislative Office Building, 1020 N Street, Room 104
Sacramento, CA 95814
Re: AB 2034 (Kalra) Human trafficking: notice
AAP-CA Position: Support
Dear Chair Stone,
The American Academy of Pediatrics, California (AAP-CA), representing over 5,000 California pediatricians, supports AB 2034 (Kalra), which would require a business or other establishment that operates an intercity passenger rail, light rail, or bus station, to train its employees to recognize the signs of human trafficking and how to report those signs to the appropriate law enforcement agency.
California is one of the largest sites of human trafficking in the United States. According to the National Human Trafficking Hotline, in 2017 there were 2,171 calls and 705 cases reported to the hotline in California. Out of the 705 cases, 544 were in the form of sex trafficking, 95 were labor exploitation, 27 cases were sex trafficking and labor exploitation and 39 were unspecified. Out of the 705 cases, 226 were minors.
A study by the United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime, estimated 33% of identified trafficking victims were children. “Both boys and girls can be victims. The average age of introduction into sex trafficking is 12 to 16 years. Teens are vulnerable to this manipulation because they have limited life experiences, and are less able to think critically and analyze the risks and benefits of harmful situations. At especially high risk are runaways, homeless youth and ‘thrownaway’ youth—those kicked out of their homes.” (AAP Outlines Medical Needs of Child Sex Trafficking Victims, March 2015).
Children and young people who are victims of human trafficking suffer physical, emotional/mental and social consequences. Some of the physical consequences include: Sexually transmitted diseases (including HIV) leading to complications such as pelvic inflammatory disease and infertility. Malnourishment is especially seen in children affecting their growth and development. Some victims end up abusing substances either as a result of being forced to take these or as a way of coping. Mental/emotional consequences include: PTSD, depression, anxiety, isolation and suicidal ideation/attempts. One study analyzing South East Asian post-trafficked children and adolescents found that 56% were positive for depression, 33% for anxiety, and 26% for PTSD (Ligia).
AB 2034 (Kalra) will help to prevent human trafficking by training employees to recognize and report human trafficking.
Pediatricians across the state urge you to vote AYE on AB 2034 (Kalra). Thank you for your public service and leadership on behalf of the health and wellbeing of children, youth, and families in California.
Chief Executive Officer, American Academy of Pediatrics, California
cc: Assembly Judiciary Committee Members
Office of Honorable Ash Kalra, California State Assembly (Author)
AAP-CA Leadership; Lobbyist Lydia Bourne; Jennifer Cruz Bracero, MD, Amanda M. Schafenacker, MD, and Judy Magpayo – Policy Analysts