Human trafficking is not an issue that can be spotted very easily without some intentional observation. Individuals who are victimized by this crime are typically used for sex trafficking, labor trafficking, or both. People who are trafficked are modern-day slaves.
Individuals who are victims of human trafficking are typically used as forced sex workers or labor.
Often times, there is a great deal of overlap, and victims are used for both purpose. Children are also not immune from being trafficked. Many people do not understand how prevalent human trafficking is around the globe. The International Labour Organization estimates there are more than 40 million people around the world who are human trafficking victims. Of those, 75 percent are women and girls; 25 percent are children.
In Ohio, there were 219 human trafficking cases reported in 2018; 1,793 cases have been reported since 2007.
A majority of victims in Ohio in 2018 were used for sex trafficking (178 of 219 cases). There are many things you can do to help bring awareness to this terrible issue.
For starters, it’s important to learn the indicators of human trafficking. A person living with their employer, having multiple people cramped in tight living quarters, or the inability of individuals to speak for themselves are just a few of the signs of human trafficking. If you see people under the age of 18, that is another sign of human trafficking since many children are trafficked for some purpose.
Learning more about human trafficking and the ways it appears in your community is important.
Contact local, state, or national representatives for more information on what they are doing to address the issue. You may also contact your local law enforcement agency for information on what to look for with human trafficking.
Once you have learned more about this issue, it is also vitally important to support organizations and initiatives which are combatting human trafficking. Organize a fundraiser or support the local human trafficking group in your neighborhood.
If you or anyone you know is a victim of human trafficking, contact your local law enforcement agency or the 24-hour National Human Trafficking Hotline at 1-888-373-7888. You can also contact OneEighty for assistance in Wayne and Holmes Counties.