DODD joins its state agency partners in educating all Ohio citizens, including individuals with developmental disabilities and their families, about the realities of human trafficking – the illegal trade of people for commercial sexual exploitation and/or forced labor. Recommendations to combat human trafficking include creating greater awareness of the vulnerabilities in people that perpetrators prey on, to perpetuate their inhumane business.
In 2012, Governor John Kasich formed Ohio’s Human Trafficking Task Force, which was later re-convened by Ohio Attorney General Michael DeWine. The Attorney General’s Human Trafficking Commission last week reported that state police departments made 98 arrests last year during human trafficking investigations in Ohio, and identified 181 potential victims. The report states that 85 investigations also led to 113 suspected traffickers, and identified 68 people suspected of trying to pay for sex. In addition, the Commission documented the rescue of 17 potential victims and the referral of 67 victims to social services.
A 2014 state law, known as the Safe Harbor Law, put more teeth into the statewide efforts to combat human trafficking by increasing penalties for people convicted of soliciting sex from children or people with developmental disabilities, and improving care for victims. Ohioans are urged to report any suspicious activity that may indicate human trafficking, and can learn more about spotting such behavior on the Human Trafficking Task Force website.
The DODD Major Unusual Incident (MUI) Unit notes that suspicious activity also may be reported to the MUI hotline, toll-free at 866-313-6733.
It may be a little difficult to watch or listen to this video, as there are many disturbing stories to be told. However, it clearly tells the undeniable facts to be learned about the presence of human trafficking in Ohio.