Human Trafficking

Press photo

U.S. Sen. Rob Portman says a cultural change is needed to draw attention to the problem of underage victims of sex trafficking.

Portman says that while laws have been updated to reflect the reality of children forced into prostitution, everyone from police to prosecutors to judges to the public need to understand the nature of the crime.

Portman said Thursday after a human trafficking roundtable in Columbus that he hears from constituents who can't believe that underage trafficking is happening in Ohio.

Report: 98 Arrested Last Year For Ohio Human Trafficking

Jan 27, 2015

A report says police departments made 98 arrests last year during human trafficking investigations in Ohio, identifying 181 potential victims
The report says 85 investigations undertaken in the state also led to 113 suspected traffickers and 68 people suspected of trying to pay for sex.
Monday's report by the Attorney General's Human Trafficking Commission also documented the rescue of 17 potential victims and the referral of 67 victims to social services.

Ohio Governor Pledges More Help Fighting Human Trafficking

Jan 15, 2015

Ohio Gov. John Kasich is pledging continued help and resources in his second term to fight human trafficking.

Kasich told advocates and lawmakers gathered at the Statehouse on Thursday that much has been accomplished to combat the illegal trade of human beings for commercial sexual exploitation and forced labor, but more can be done.

Human trafficking victims often are prostituted or forced into sweatshop-type jobs.

It’s estimated that more than 1,000 in Ohio are victims of sex-trafficking each year.  300,000 children nationwide are considered to be at high risk. Those numbers are galvanizing politicians, police agencies and other organizations to raise awareness about the war on human trafficking.

Jerry Kenney

On Wednesday, the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services announced the creation of a network of first responders that will assist victims of human trafficking. to do that, the state will work with the Ohio Network of Children’s Advocacy Centers.

The announcement was made at Michael’s House in Fairborn – a place where abused children can get counseling, mental health and medical services, in a comforting environment. Michael’s House is one of 24 Children’s Advocacy Centers the state is now working with.

The Ohio Attorney General's Office says local law enforcement agencies reported 30 human-trafficking cases in the state in the past year.

The numbers were released Thursday as part of a new Ohio law requiring local agencies to collect data on human trafficking cases and report it to Attorney General Mike DeWine's office.

Ohio lawmakers have approved a measure that increases penalties for human trafficking offenders and adds protections for victims.

The Ohio House unanimously endorsed the legislation Wednesday.

The bill says minors or developmentally disabled people should be considered victims of human trafficking if they're recruited or held captive to engage in sexual activities.

House Speaker William Batchelder says the legislation gives authorities the tools they need to crack down on traffickers. 

The state of Ohio is spending nearly $50,000 to launch a campaign to raise awareness of the problem of human trafficking.

Gov. John Kasich said Wednesday that the state is working with a Hudson public relations firm to develop a "multi-pronged outreach and education campaign" that is expected to be introduced before the end of the year.

Ohio Gov. John Kasich says he'll back further legislation this session bolstering the state's legal crackdown on human trafficking.

Kasich spoke at an awareness event Friday at the Statehouse. The Republican governor said the state is marshaling its resources against the crime, but more can be done.

Victims of human trafficking often are prostituted or pushed to work against their will in sweatshop-type jobs. Some are girls as young as 11.

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine has announced the formation of a Human Trafficking Task Force.  WYSO’s Jerry Kenney reports that it’s the first of its kind in Central Ohio. 


Attorney General Mike DeWine says the creation of the task force is the result of the human trafficking that’s happening every day in the state.