January is Human Trafficking Awareness Month
In June 2013, Governor Kasich announced a public awareness campaign to combat human trafficking by educating the public on how to recognize and report such crimes, as well as help victims gain access to services and treatment. You might be asking yourself, what exactly is human trafficking? Human trafficking is the illegal trade of human beings for commercial sexual exploitation and forced labor. Human Trafficking is one of the fastest growing criminal enterprises worldwide. In Ohio, an estimated 1,078 Ohio children become victims of human trafficking each year and 3,016 more are at-risk for exploitation. Victims of human trafficking are more typically women and children, who are made to suffer mental abuse and physical abuse such as rape, beatings and torture. As we mentioned above, human trafficking can take many forms- including forcing a woman or child into prostitution or servitude. Other activities involved with human trafficking can include the removal of organs for black market sale, illicit international adoption, trafficking for early marriage, recruitment as child soldiers, for use in begging or as athletes (such as child camel jockeys or football players). Men are at risk of being trafficked for unskilled work. Forms of forced labor can include domestic servitude, agricultural labor, sweatshop factory labor, food service and other service industry labor. In recognition of this incredibly important initiative, we will be posting information on human trafficking throughout the month of January. Stay tuned, as next week we explore just how prevalent human trafficking is in Ohio.