What is Sex Trafficking?

The recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision, obtaining, patronizing, or soliciting of a person for the purpose of a commercial sex act, in which the commercial sex act is induced by force, fraud, or coercion, or in which the person induced to perform such act has not attained 18 years of age.

Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000

What is Labor Trafficking?

The recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision, or obtaining of a person for labor or services, through the use of force, fraud, or coercion for the purpose of subjection to involuntary servitude, peonage, debt bondage, or slavery.

Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000

Sex Trafficking of Minors

Unlike with adults, inducing a minor (under age 18) into commercial sex is considered human trafficking regardless of the presence of force, fraud or coercion.


A minor cannot legally consent to sex, and therefore there is no such thing as child commercial sex workers. 

The Action-Means-Purpose (AMP) Model


Human trafficking occurs when a perpetrator, often referred to as a trafficker, takes an Action, and then employs the Means of force, fraud or coercion for the Purpose of compelling the victim to provide commercial sex acts or labor or services.

To be defined as human trafficking, all three must occur. 




*for minors, all commercial sex is human trafficking regardless of means.


Commercial Sex
(Sex Trafficking)


(Labor Trafficking)

​Why is Human Trafficking an issue on the California Central Coast?

  • “Our Central Coast has been identified as a natural transit corridor for trafficking activity between major metropolitan areas to the south and north.  Santa Barbara County, a tourist attraction with conference venues, a transitory population, and migrant labor makes it vulnerable to trafficking activity as well.” -Santa Barbara County District Attorney’s Office​​

  • The Santa Barbara County Human Trafficking Task Force works to assess the scope of the problem locally, offer access to training opportunities, develop protocols and improve law enforcement and victim service response. The task force is comprised of state and federal law enforcement agencies, as well as non-profit and faith-based organizations. Together they are dedicated to a victim-centered approach to combat the commercial sexual exploitation and labor trafficking of human beings. Visit the Task Force website: https://www.countyofsb.org/da/humantrafficking.html​​

What does Human Trafficking look like in Santa Barbara County?

All data is from the Human Trafficking Task Force and includes data between January 2017 - June 2019


119 new Human Trafficking investigations between January 2017 - June 2019

88% were Sex Trafficking investigations

12% were Labor Trafficking investigations

From these new investigations, there were 129 survivors identified. 

Survivors are...

42% minors (under age 18) 

96% female. 

14% are foreign citizens (Mexico, China, Morocco, Columbia, Honduras, Russia)​

86% are US citizens

Of these, 53% are Santa Barbara County Residents. Majority of others are California residents. 

​​ ​​​​​

31% Hispanic or Latina

28% White or Caucasian

26% Black or African American

10% Asian

5% multi-racial.


Perpetrators are...

97 individuals identified as Human Traffickers 

69% confirmed through investigations

31% remain as suspected traffickers

Where sex trafficking happens...

67%  hotel/motel

20%  private homes

13%  other locations (apartment complex, bar/cantina, street, or strip club) 

(data based on the time period between January 2017 - June 2018 only)


Trusted Sources of Human Trafficking Information​