An Ohio man has been sentenced to 20 years in prison in Maryland on human trafficking and prostitution charges.
COLUMBUS, Ohio - Though Ohio made progress in the fight against human trafficking in 2012, there is still much work to be done to address this issue in the coming year, said the Ohio Attorney General's Office.
"Human trafficking is a horrendous crime that preys upon the most vulnerable among us, often targeting our children," said Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine. "I am proud of the progress made throughout Ohio this year that has helped bring more awareness to the human trafficking issue."
The Human Trafficking Commission's six subcommittees will continue to make progress in creating additional awareness of human trafficking in Ohio; increasing the response to victims; providing additional research to better understand human trafficking and its impact in our state; mobilizing law enforcement; and creating better laws to protect victims.
Last year, members of the Attorney General's Human Trafficking Commission made strides to gauge the human trafficking problem in Ohio and strengthen Ohio legislation addressing human trafficking.
Commission members worked to fight human trafficking in 2012 through:
- 2012 Law Enforcement Human Trafficking Summit
- Safe Harbor Law (House Bill 262)
- Human trafficking webinars
- 2012 Domestic Sex Trafficking in Ohio Report
- Medical protocols and triage research
- Demand reduction efforts
In addition to the work of the commission, the Attorney General's Office has been engaged in other efforts to combat human trafficking, including:
- Central Ohio Human Trafficking Task Force
- Central Ohio Human Trafficking Collaborative
- Law enforcement training
"Though Ohio has made great progress in the fight against human trafficking in 2012, there is still much work to be done to address this issue in the coming year," said DeWine.
Plans for 2013 include new legislative initiatives, an expanded focus on labor trafficking in Ohio, and new outreach and victims services efforts.
The Human Trafficking Commission will also release a report on Ohio's "John Schools," and the Attorney General's Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI) will begin to track and compile human trafficking violation data as required by the Safe Harbor Law.
National Human Trafficking Awareness Day is observed each year on Jan. 11.
You can read the 12 page report here: 2012 Human Trafficking Report
For additional information on human trafficking: Ohio Attorney General's webpage
Experts in the U.S. increasingly are applying the label "human trafficking" to homegrown prostitution. Lawmakers, police and prosecutors are starting to shift their view on this, too.
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