We have many events that occur in Ohio that spur the increase in human trafficking.
Did you know that during the Bridgestone Invitational World Golf Championship that is held in Akron, brings traffickers from all over to sell their human slaves? Some of these girls and boys are as young as 11 years old. The Pro-Football Hall of Fame game held in Canton, is also a big event that will increase the number of trafficked humans that will be brought to our Ohio cities. There is an expected increase in human trafficking in Cleveland when the Republican National Convention comes to town in 2016. These and other major events bring in the traffickers looking to make money from the humans they own and sell. Even through these major events are good for our cities, our state, and our local economies, they are also unwilling contributors to the trafficking of innocent humans as sex and labor slaves. Those who own these innocent slaves take advantage of the increased number of people and unsavory individuals who will pay good money for sex and labor slaves.
In Ohio, the Attorney General and other organizations have made significant strides to increase laws and punishments for human traffickers and those that pay for the services of human slaves. According to the Polaris Project, in 2011, Ohio had only 3-4 out of 10 statutes for dealing with human trafficking. In 2014, great strides have been made and Ohio now has 9 out of 10 statues.
How can we as public health professionals get involved? Below is a listing of organizations in Ohio that are working towards the effort to empower communities and individuals to reduce and eventually eradicate human trafficking. We can support these organizations and offer to disseminate their materials and information. We can volunteer for these hard working organizations or give our students opportunities to do projects, research and internships with them. We can simply get in touch with them and see what they need from the community to reach their goals and meet their missions.
Victims Assistance: http://www.victimassistanceprogram.org/assistance/human-trafficking.aspx
Collaborative to End Human Trafficking: http://collaborativeinitiative.org/index.html
Citizens For Community Values: http://www.ccv.org/issues/human-trafficking/
Human Trafficking Task Force Campaign brochures: http://humantrafficking.ohio.gov/Campaign.aspx
Rehab, A Ministry of Hope: http://www.rahab-ministries.org/trafficking.htm
Ohio Attorney General Human Trafficking Commission: http://www.ohioattorneygeneral.gov/humantrafficking.aspx