E3 Alliance calls on San Diego workforce to help put illicit industry out of business

SAN DIEGO — Until now, one sector was largely missing from human trafficking prevention efforts in San Diego. With the launch of E3 Alliance: Employers Ending Exploitation, Project Concern International (PCI), a Global Communities Partner, plans to mobilize businesses across the city to help put an end to the destructive industry.

“Eradicating sex trafficking requires a coordinated, multi-sector response,” said Carrie Hessler-Radelet, President & CEO of PCI. “San Diego nonprofit organizations and government entities have worked collectively for years to combat sex trafficking in our community. We are excited to invite businesses to take a seat at the table.”

According to Hannah Allen, senior program manager of Human Trafficking Prevention programs at PCI, E3 Alliance was designed for and by San Diegans to educate and activate the local workforce in the city’s anti-trafficking movement. Prevention education materials that will be used by the alliance were created in collaboration with the Survivor Leader Network of San Diego, the San Diego Human Trafficking Task Force, BLVR and the Seattle-based nonprofit Businesses Ending Slavery and Trafficking (BEST).

“Businesses may unknowingly contribute to the problem of sex trafficking, and E3 tools and services can prepare employers and their workforce to become part of the solution,” said Allen, who also serves as Chief Program Officer of E3 Alliance.

A San Diego study found sex trafficking is the 2nd largest illegal industry in San Diego with 77 percent of local commercial exploitation taking place in hotels. This illicit industry generates an estimated $810 million each year and utilizes existing business and technology infrastructure to operate all around us. The peak time sex is solicited online in San Diego is between 10 a.m. and noon, during the typical lunch hour. According to BEST, 63 percent of sexually exploited people confirm that they have met sex buyers on company properties.

“We’ve engaged previously with specific industries like hotels and airlines to fight human trafficking, but the E3 Alliance is critical because it brings partnerships with businesses to a whole new level across a much wider spectrum,” said San Diego County District Attorney Summer Stephan, whose office has joined E3 as a government partner, alongside the San Diego City Attorney’s Office and the San Diego Human Trafficking Task Force. “The District Attorney’s Office is proud to support PCI for this innovative prevention initiative that will increase our collective prevention efforts and better support victims and survivors of sex trafficking.”

When businesses join E3 Alliance, they will be connected to an E3 representative who will guide their company through new policies, practices and employee trainings to become E3 Certified Business Partners. Beyond providing prevention education to San Diego businesses, E3 Alliance will also act as a connector, providing online space for victim service organizations and anti-trafficking nonprofits to share needs and help interested advocates fill those needs or offer additional services.

“We hope to see E3 Alliance continue to grow, evolve, adjust, adapt and remain self-sustaining as long as it takes to end commercial sexual exploitation in our city,” Allen said.

Acknowledging the path that has been paved thus far, victim service organizations are invited to join as E3 Community Partners; and government entities, including prosecutors and law enforcement, are invited to join as E3 Government Partners. E3 Alliance will be a space where all sectors can stand in solidarity and take action together to advance the citywide movement to end sex trafficking in San Diego.

“Sex trafficking is a lucrative industry that has infiltrated our schools, our businesses and our neighborhoods,” San Diego City Attorney Mara Elliott said. “The E3 Alliance will play a critical role in educating and training businesses throughout the City of San Diego to identify and end sexual exploitation.”

Businesses of every size and industry as well as community, club and government organizations interested in becoming E3 Partners are invited to visit e3sandiego.org to learn more.


About Project Concern International (PCI), a Global Communities Partner: PCI is a San Diego-based international health and humanitarian organization that partners with the most vulnerable communities in San Diego and around the world to implement programs that improve access to health services, nutritious food, clean water, education and economic opportunity. In San Diego, PCI improves the health of moms & babies; strengthens food security; fights human trafficking; and implements programs to strengthen community health, including COVID-19 emergency response programming. Last year alone, PCI impacted more than 21 million lives across Asia, Africa and the Americas, including here in the United States. For more information, visit www.PCIGlobal.org.