La Jolla Soroptimists honored for fighting human trafficking

The Bi-Lateral Safety Corridor Coalition (BSCC) recently honored Soroptimist International of La Jolla (SILJ) with its “Angels of Trafficking Award” for community service. BSCC works to combat human trafficking along a corridor that includes the San Diego/ Tijuana region.

Carol Tuggey accepted the award for the Soroptimists, which was presented by BSCC Executive Director Marisa Ugarte.

Led by Lisa Lindgren and Tuggey, SILJ made it a three-year focus to combat trafficking, and selected BSCC as a partner. BSCC established the only emergency response shelter on the West Coast; a first stop for rescued victims before they move on to transitional programs.

SILJ helped get it started by offering awareness, furnishings, physical labor, food and funding to create a safe and livable environment.

San Diego has the highest North American incidence of trafficking, which includes forced labor, forced marriages and forced sexual arrangements. Even local high school girls have been victims, according to SILJ.

“Since most of us lead different lives, we never imagine having to deal with anything like this. This has been a difficult issue,” Tuggey said. “Our Soroptimist membership is proud to contribute to this important cause.”

SILJ will celebrate community achievements at its annual awards luncheon and silent auction, 10:30 a.m. Saturday April 5 at Good Samaritan Episcopal Church in UTC. Guests welcome. Tickets are $50 at