Human Trafficking Awareness Day

01.11.2013

Today marks National Human Trafficking Awareness Day, part of National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month. It’s a day meant to raise awareness, offer support to victims, recognize the triumphs and resiliency of its survivors, and celebrate the amazing work being done in our communities to bring about change.

Educating yourself is the first step to spreading awareness and creating change. So let’s tackle the big question: what is human trafficking? Simply put, it is modern day slavery. Victims of human trafficking are subjected to force, fraud, or coercion for the purpose of exploitation in commercial sex or forced labor.

But this is a problem happening far away, right? Somewhere in another country, to people not like me. Not exactly…

  • 1,078 children in Ohio are currently presumed to be trafficked, with 3,016 at high risk. [1]
  • In Ohio, 88% of human trafficking involves sexual slavery and 84% of victims are American-born. [2] 
  • THIRTEEN is the average age when a girl is recruited into sexual exploitation in the U.S. [3] 

This is a reality in central Ohio. And we’ve made great strides in 2012, but there is still a long way to go. 

What can you do in 2013? Read up on the work being done by the Central Ohio Rescue and Restore Coalition; thank the legislators who backed House Bill 262; congratulate the six 2012 graduates of CATCH Court and Judge Herbert for his dedication; learn about our grant partner Doma International and support Freedom a la Cart.  

In honor of this important day, talk with someone about this issue. Have a conversation, spread your knowledge, support those currently victimized, celebrate the successes, and invest in the potential of our future.  

If you suspect a case of human trafficking, call the 24-hour central Ohio Trafficking Hot-Line at 614-285-4357. 

 

Written by: Kathleen Kishman

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