WASHINGTON state is a longtime leader in crafting policies to combat sex trafficking, but persistent demand means that countless girls, boys and women continue to be exploited.

That frustrating reality is just one side effect of the region’s booming economy as well as the rise of the Internet as a marketplace for commercial sex.

A massive sting operation this month in King County succeeded in shutting down 12 brothels and two well-known sex-trafficking websites, but many others are ready to fill the void.

Seattle and King County’s innovative cross-agency approach to treating those who are prostituted as victims rather than as criminals is a model for the nation. More businesses and people beyond law-enforcement and the social-services communities need to be aware of this scourge and act.

To read more: http://www.seattletimes.com/opinion/editorials/broaden-awareness-and-engage-communities-on-sex-trafficking/

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