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Human Trafficking In Fresno: A Huge Problem And Hard To Prosecute

Miiko Anderson; Debra Rush
Fresno County senior deputy district attorney Miiko Anderson, left, and Debra Rush, founder and CEO of the non-profit organization Breaking the Chains, both work to address the scourge of human trafficking.

Last week, Fresno Mayor Lee Brand introduced a new initiative aimed at combating a huge problem here in the Valley: Human trafficking. The initiative brings together city government, law enforcement, and aid organizations, many of which have been addressing trafficking for years.

If you're the victim of human trafficking, or believe someone else is, you can call the National Human Trafficking Hotline: 1-888-373-7888

In this interview, we hear from Miiko Anderson, a senior deputy district attorney with the County of Fresno and the head of its Human Trafficking Task Force, and Debra Rush, founder and CEO of the non-profit organization Breaking the Chains. They explain why human trafficking seems to be so prevalent in this area, why trafficking cases can be hard to prosecute, and how their groups and Mayor Brand’s new initiative address this kind of crime.

Kerry Klein is an award-winning reporter whose coverage of public health, air pollution, drinking water access and wildfires in the San Joaquin Valley has been featured on NPR, KQED, Science Friday and Kaiser Health News. Her work has earned numerous regional Edward R. Murrow and Golden Mike Awards and has been recognized by the Association of Health Care Journalists and Society of Environmental Journalists. Her podcast Escape From Mammoth Pool was named a podcast “listeners couldn’t get enough of in 2021” by the radio aggregator NPR One.
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