Prostitution increases during the Kern County Fair, according to anti-human trafficking advocates

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - Not everything is fun and games with the start of the Kern County Fair.

Advocates against human trafficking say, during this time there an increase in prostitution and soliciting.

Several local organizations teamed up to raise awareness about the problem with a new billboard at the corner of Union Avenue and Brundage lane in central Bakersfield.

Advocates say it's conveniently located to be seen by many fair-goers.

They say the boost in the local economy due to the big annual event draws in traffickers and customers.

"The demand for sex for and sex trafficking picks up, so what we see is a lot of traffickers brining in girls from other cities into Bakersfield especially here on Union Avenue and it's convenient for them that the fair is located on Union Avenue as well," said Doug Bennett, founder of Magdalene Hope.

This is the second year the billboard goes up at this time, advocates say last year it increased calls to the national hotline by 240 percent during that same period the year before.

Anyone who needs help is asked to call 888-373-7888.

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