Rico Ozaki spoke on sex trafficking on September 15th at 12:00 noon in room 724 as the second Crossing Borders, Building Bridges event. The presentation was given on behalf of “My Sisters House” an organization that helps Asian and Pacific Islander women who are victims of either sex trafficking or domestic violence. The presentation, hosted as always by Neelam Canto-Lugo, was titled “Global and Local: Human Trafficking in California” and as the name implies focused on trafficking in California, although global aspects of the matter were discussed. Before anything could be done however Ozaki had to properly define human trafficking for the full student audience. She gave the United Nations and the United States definition as well as the California definition. Though the California definition was differently worded the central idea in all three was that human trafficking is the exploitation of persons through force, fraud or coercion. An exception is when someone under 18 is involved in a commercial sex act, in such a case whether there has been any manipulation or not it still constitutes human trafficking because a minor cannot consent to sex. Transport of the persons is also usually though not always required. People trafficked are used for both sexual and labor services and while the latter is not as well known it is widespread. Debt bondage is a common form of labor exploitation. Ozaki distinguished trafficking from smuggling in that the one smuggled is a criminal under the law while the one trafficked is a victim. There can be great difficulty however, Ozaki said, in distinguishing one from the other sometimes such as in the case of continued prostitutes recruiting new women and girls. At what point are they no longer “victims” but “criminals”? Both sex and labor trafficking can take many forms including agricultural labor, brothels, sweatshops, and massage parlors. The last of these was focused on in depth as it is very common in Sacramento. There are several Asian massage parlors in the Sacramento area that evidence indicates are really brothels. They are located by the freeways for easy access and transport of the persons involved. Asian women especially are subject to this practice and that is why it is of special concern to “My Sisters House”. The stereotype of Asian women as docile, submissive and “skilled” helps these businesses prosper. Furthermore the women involved feared the police in their own countries often and they can carry that fear over into the US plus their inability to speak English making them easily manipulated by their “bosses”. On a global scale an estimated 800,000 people are trafficked across borders annually, 80 percent of whom are female, and this does not include trafficking within countries which is also widespread. According to C.A.S.T (Coalition to Abolish Slavery and Trafficking) The US is one of the top 3 destinations for trafficking and California is one of the top states. Ozaki also pointed out the domestic violence has parallels with trafficking in that one person establishes a pattern of power and control over another in an intimate relationship. Ozaki noted that culture is one of the primary problems facing law enforcement as some cultures practice polygamy and have “child brides”. Police are faced with difficulty in deciding in regards to a particular case for example whether an arranged marriage between a young woman and a much older man is a part of their culture or constitutes trafficking. Ozaki did note however that not all cases such as massage parlors and cultural practices are really human trafficking, but that the difficulty lies in trying to see where there really is nothing sinister going on and where there is.