HILLSBORO — St. Matthew Church has invited two detectives to provide information about the national and local problem of human sex trafficking on Tuesday, June 18, from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Presenting detectives are Keith Bickford, from Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office’s Oregon Foreign-Born Trafficking Task Force, and Robert Rookhuyzen, from the Washington County Sheriff’s Office Investigations Division.

A Justice Department study has placed Portland and Seattle among 12 “hub” cities where traffickers recruit teenagers for sex work and move them around the country.

Many people believe trafficking to be an international problem, but the Justice Department estimates 300,000 American children are trafficked for sexual exploitation.
The Portland metro area, between large West Coast cities and at the intersection of two Interstate freeways and two major rivers, is seen as a hub for human trafficking. Many young girls pass through or stay, controlled by handlers who use threats, violence and drug addiction to keep the women from escaping.

Worldwide, human trafficking generates billions of dollars each year for crime bosses.
St. Matthew Church is at 447 SE Third Ave. For more information, call 503-648-1998.