CERI is a non-profit organization that provides mental health and social services to refugee and immigrant families, mostly Cambodians. All of the girls in its support group have parents who are Cambodian refugees, and they all live in high crime neighborhoods in the East Bay. Many of them know other girls—friends, former classmates—who have become involved in “the life,” a term for the underground world of prostitution.

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Community members rallied alongside city leaders Thursday evening to protest the sexual exploitation of minors, shutting down 17th Ave at International Blvd in Oakland’s San Antonio neighborhood — a neighborhood where residents say encountering hookers, pimps and johns is a day-to-day part of life.

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Oakland Police Chief Anthony Batts

At nighttime along Oakland’s International Boulevard, dozens of teenage girls are working the track—and there’s nothing athletic about it. “The Track” is the street nickname for the epicenter of underage prostitution in Oakland, where girls well under the age of eighteen strut down the street in platform heels and mini dresses while predatory pimps wait in cars around the corner.

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mayoral candidates sitting on stage at church

“Ladies and gentlemen, you could be taking dance lessons in Jack London Square or having a drink. But no, we’ve had too important a week, haven’t we?” With that, Aimee Alison, host of the KPFA Morning Show and founder of OaklandSeen.com, opened the Oakland mayoral forum on public safety held Thursday evening, July 15th at the Lakeshore Baptist Church.

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  By ISABEL ESTERMAN OCT. 28 –Thirteen juveniles have been taken into custody in the Bay Area and 123 adults have been arrested as part of Operation Cross Country II, a nationwide effort to combat the sex trafficking of children, law enforcement officials announced this morning. Bay Area operations are responsible for almost 25 percent…

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