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Human trafficking is an estimated multi-billion a year international enterprise that forces the most vulnerable among us into the horrors of modern-day slavery. Criminals who are involved in trafficking other human beings prey upon those already at risk in our society, often our children.  In fact, a preliminary report on the scope of the problem in Ohio cited 13 years old as the most common age in Ohio for youth to become victims of child sex trafficking. From the study's sample of 207 individuals, 49 percent were under 18 when they were first trafficked.  Nationally, over 100,000 children are thought to be involved in the sex trade.

To combat this problem and end this horrendous abuse, Attorney General Mike DeWine reconvened the Human Trafficking Commission in August of 2011.  This built upon the former work of the Trafficking in Persons Study Commission created under previous Attorney General Richard Cordray, which released a report and recommendations for how to combat this crime.  The Commission includes elected and appointed officials, members of local, state, and federal law enforcement, public and private social agencies, religious groups, and schools who meet regularly to understand the extent of the problem in Ohio, find ways to help victims, and discover how to investigate and prosecute traffickers.  

Most recently, the Human Trafficking Commission helped pass House Bill 262, also known as the Safe Harbor Law.  This law was sponsored by Human Trafficking Commission member Representative Teresa Fedor (D-Toledo) and focuses on human trafficking and will increase the penalties for traffickers and improve care for victims.  The new law will:

The Law Enforcement Community cannot fight this problem alone.  In order to prosecute those who are preying upon our vulnerable populations, we urge the public to report any information they might have about human trafficking to the Hubbard Township Police Dept by calling 330-675-2730 or to BCI by calling 1-855-BCI-OHIO (224-6446).  This will allow our law enforcement to arrest and prosecute traffickers.

Warning signs of human trafficking to watch for include: