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Sunday, February 8, 2015

Ohio: One of the Leading Human Trafficking Centers



"About 1,000 American-born children are forced into the sex trade in Ohio every year (some estimates say the number is closer to 2,000) and about 800 immigrants are sexually exploited and pushed into sweatshop-type jobs, according to a report
on human trafficking in Ohio.

"Ohio's growing demand for cheap labor and its proximity to the Canadian border are key contributors to the illegal activity,
according
to a report by the Trafficking in Persons Study Commission.

"'Ohio is not only a destination place for foreign-born trafficking victims, but it's also a recruitment place," said Celia Williamson, an associate professor at the University of Toledo who led the research.'"


("Study: Ohio at Center of Child Sex Trade." CBS News. February 11, 2010)

If you are a Buckeye considering taking a stand against human trafficking and drug abuse, you need to understand that Ohio is at the center of the child sex trade in America. Some reports claim that the big money for organized crime generated by the human trafficking network is second only to drugs. Human trafficking includes forced labor and sexual exploitation. It is one of the fastest growing crimes in the world. We must help to stop this terrible scourge.

Did you realize the tremendous scope of the problem in Ohio? For example, Toledo, Ohio, about 55 miles southwest of Windsor, Ontario, ranks fourth in the U.S. in terms of arrests, investigations and rescue of domestic child-sex victims. Only Miami, Portland, and Las Vegas had more.

Toronto's airport is an arrival destination for international victims who are trafficked in Canada and transported to other cities like Toledo.

(Katie Couric. Special Report. CBS Evening News. 2010)

Many girls are enslaved in Ohio, but the traffickers and pimps here also take many of them out of the state to places like Miami and Las Vegas. Two reasons are cited for this: (1) criminals get more money in those cities, and (2) the constant movement keeps the girls disoriented.

Ernie Allen of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children said prostitutes in the country are younger than ever, and they no longer all come from impoverished or broken homes.

"What we are seeing now is an increasing number of middle class kids and up - many of whom do it originally on a dare, or because they think it is interesting or different. And then find themselves trapped," Allen said. The median age for children who become victims of trafficking is 13 years old.

Trafficking networks in Ohio are highly organized, and brothels there are often fronted by legitimate businesses. From 1990 to 2000, Ohio's foreign-born population increased 30 percent, and Ohio has a growing pool of legal and illegal immigrants who draw victims or hide victims.

A national hotline for reporting human trafficking says tips on more than 5,000 human trafficking cases nationwide last year included 164 Ohio cases.  The Dayton Daily News reports that more than 800 calls from tipsters, victims, family members and others in Ohio filtered into the state's 164 cases.

The newspaper reports that national data show the top three sex trafficking venues were commercial front brothels, Internet ads and hotels or motels. The top two labor trafficking industries were domestic help and traveling sales crews.
 
The National Human Trafficking Resource Center and Polaris BeFree texting helpline say reports increased 26 percent nationally in 2014 over the previous year.

Click here for a link to the Ohio Human Trafficking Task Force: http://www.publicsafety.ohio.gov/ht/index.html

Below are some important facts about human trafficking:

* Human trafficking” -- sexual, domestic, industrial and agricultural -- is a $32 billion per year industry.

* Women and children make up 80 percent of all trafficking victims who are forced into the commercial sex trade.

* A child is trafficked every 30 seconds.

* Human trafficking occurs in 161 out of 192 countries.

* Up to 96 percent of women in prostitution want to escape but feel they can’t.

* In some countries, it is estimated that 70 percent of men purchase sex.

(www.rescueandrestore.org. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services)

(www.nefariousdocumentary.com. U.S. and U.N. sources)
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