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UCLA study reveals large gaps in data about sex trafficking in United States

UCLA study recommends establishing a national database for human trafficking cases. Photo by Nikada/iStockphoto

UCLA Newsroom
By George Foulsham
April 29, 2016

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A lack of uniform data-collection polices across states and communities is a huge problem

Sarah Godoy realized that she wanted to devote her life to fighting human trafficking when, during a trip to India, she overheard a pimp speaking to a 10-year-old girl. The pimp was questioning where another girl, a 5-year-old, had gone and when she would return to the brothel.

“Pedophilia was written all over this situation,” said Godoy, who was completing an international social work internship as a social welfare graduate student at the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs at the time of the trip. “I just thought, ‘I cannot see this.’ I had to intervene. That was an eye-opening experience for me.”

Upon returning to the U.S., Godoy interned at the Los Angeles-based, non-profit organization Saving Innocence where she worked directly with domestic-born survivors of sex trafficking. The internship was during her second year in Luskin’s social work program. …

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