Raising awareness of this epidemic is the worthy goal of a new Kasich administration initiative. The $50,000 public-information campaign is expected to begin before the end of the year.
Human trafficking is, plain and simple, slavery — the buying and selling of women and children, usually for prostitution but also for forced labor. State officials estimate that more than 1,000 children are victimized in Ohio each year and that another 3,000 are at risk.
The awareness campaign will inform Ohioans how to recognize signs of human trafficking and what to do next, including how to alert law enforcement and help the victims.
Posts Tagged ‘Ohio’
Continuing Ohio’s aggressive agenda to end human trafficking, Gov. John R. Kasich on Wednesday announced that the state will launch a new public awareness campaign to combat human trafficking by educating the public on how to recognize and report the crime, as well as help victims gain access to services and treatment.
The Kasich administration and the Ohio Human Trafficking Task Force will work closely with The Impact Group, a public relations and marketing firm out of Hudson, to develop the multi-pronged outreach and education campaign, which is expected to launch by the end of 2013.
“We’ve made progress in the fight against human trafficking, but we have a long way to go before this war is won,” Kasich said in a news release. “Before an awful crime like this can be stopped, people need to know how to recognize and report signs of human trafficking to law enforcement. Stopping criminals, helping victims and ultimately saving lives is what this campaign is all about.”
The human trafficking awareness campaign will focus on three key areas:
- Educating the public on how to recognize the signs of human trafficking;
- Promoting the appropriate method for reporting human trafficking situations;
- Directing victims of human trafficking to available services and treatment, and helping them regain control of their lives.
As agents in Ohio investigate liquor permit establishments for alcohol, drugs and weapons violations, they’re also looking for human traffickers and victims of the crime.
Every agent has received training on how to spot signs of human trafficking in Ohio’s bars, restaurants and other places that serve alcohol.
Last October, agents attended human trafficking awareness training by the Ohio State Highway Patrol. The training explained what human trafficking looks like and what agents do when they see the illegal activity.
“Our agents are often in a prime setting to spot victims of human trafficking,” said Agent-in-Charge Eric Wolf. “In these cases, time is of the essence. Our agents can start the process to get these people to safety and do so quickly.”
Many victims of human trafficking are often moved through adult entertainment clubs, or even truck stops, which often have liquor permits.
Authorities said that from Oct. 1, 2011, through Dec. 5, 2011, McClain and Barfield recruited, enticed, harbored, provided, obtained and maintained, by any means, a person knowing, or in reckless disregard of the fact, that the person had not attained the age of 18 years and would be caused to engage in a commercial sex act, according to court documents.
Also, from on or about Dec. 16, 2011, through Dec. 31, 2011, McClain and Barfield transported a 15-year-old girl from Ohio to Pennsylvania with the intent that the girl engage in prostitution, according to court documents.
The 15-year-old runaway told investigators that McClain and Barfield forced her to prostitute herself 10 times a day over a month-long period, with a total of 200 men, according to an affidavit filed in the case.
More than 20 LexisNexis employees spent Wednesday renovating a safe house for human trafficking victims set to open in Dayton early next year.
Dayton’s facility will be the first long-term safe house in Ohio for victims of human trafficking.
Wednesday’s effort was organized by Dayton-based Oasis House, which provides support for women who have been involved in the adult sex industry. Some LexisNexis employees were painting, others were scrubbing walls and many more were on their hands and knees removing carpet.
When renovated, Oasis House will provide housing, food and mentoring for women who have been victims of human trafficking.
Source: WHIO TV
A woman allegedly forced to work as a prostitute at several Columbus hotels has led to one of Ohio’s first human trafficking cases.Four people now have been indicted.A 24-year-old woman was allegedly lured to Columbus from Helicopter with the promise of a party. Once she arrived in Columbus, the victim was sexually assaulted and forced to work as a prostitute. Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine tells 7news that this “first of a kind indictment” is just the beginning in the state of Ohio.According to DeWine, the suspects placed advertisements on the internet offering up the victim as a prostitute and collected money from the men who answered the ads. DeWine says there are more victims out there.
Gov. John Kasich on Wednesday signed into law legislation that provides more resources and protections to victims of human trafficking and stiffens penalties facing criminal offenders.
At a ceremony in Toledo, which is one of the top recruiting cities for young sex-trafficking victims, Kasich praised state lawmakers for their bipartisan support of legislation that will help combat the troubling activity of modern slavery.
“In regard to this horrible, horrible crime, we are throwing the book at the abusers — not just the traffickers, but those who profit from the trafficking and those who are somehow in the chain of trafficking,” Kasich said. “We are no longer looking the other way.”
The law— which took effect immediately because it contained an emergency provision — makes trafficking a first-degree felony that carries a mandatory 10- to 15-year prison sentence, and it requires convicted pimps and traffickers to register as sex offenders.
Source: Middletown Journal
A wholesale rewrite of a proposed law cracking down on modern-day slavery in Ohio bears little resemblance to what Rep. Teresa Fedor first proposed, but the Toledo Democrat said Tuesday it’s still a “safe harbor” bill.
Struggling where to draw the line when it comes to prosecuting minors as prostitutes, an Ohio House committee sidestepped that issue altogether with a massive amendment to the bill. Instead, judges could hold criminal charges temporarily at bay while directing human trafficking victims into protective services and getting them counseling, medical care, drug and alcohol treatment, and other help they need.
If the minors successfully complete the program, the criminal charge would go away.
The bill aggressively goes after adult customers who hire minors for sex even if they don’t know they’re minors, elevating the crime to a felony.
Source: Toledo Blade
Connie Anderson considers her participation in the struggle against human trafficking to be the 21st-century equivalent of the abolitionist movement in the 1800s.
“As with the abolitionist movement, it’s ordinary people banding together to say this is wrong and doing something about it,” Anderson said. “Human trafficking is modern-day slavery.”
Human trafficking is the Grandview resident’s primary area of focus in her position as director of justice ministries for the Great Lakes Region of InterVarsity Christian Fellowship/USA.
“Our mission is to help college students put their faith into action,” Anderson said.
With the human trafficking issue, “I feel like this is one of the important causes of my era, just like abolition was in the 19th century,” she said.
Source: This News Week
A federal jury in Tennessee delivered a split verdict on Friday against nine people, mostly Somali men, who were accused of operating a sex trafficking ring in three states. Three men were convicted, and six were acquitted. The defendants are among 30 who were indicted in the case, which spans from Minnesota to Ohio and Tennessee. The jury of six men and six women deliberated over five days this week before returning the verdict. Van Vincent, an assistant United States attorney, said the government would not stop prosecuting these cases. A Somali witness identified only as Jane Doe No. 2 testified that she was used as a prostitute by gang members starting at the age of 12. She cried in court as she described being taken to several apartments around suburban Minneapolis to have sex with Somali men for money, sometimes as little as $40. Idris Ibrahim Fahra, Andrew Kayachith and Yassin Abdirahman Yusuf were found guilty of conspiracy to commit sex trafficking of children by force, fraud or coercion.
Source: New York Times