human trafficking

From large cities or small towns, human trafficking can happen in any community in Ohio. The Buckeye State is making an effort to combat these heinous crimes that strip victims of their dignity and freedom. If you want to learn more about Ohio’s fight against human trafficking, let’s examine its progress, challenges, and strategies.

What Is Human Trafficking and How Does It Affect Communities?

Human trafficking involves the exploitation of vulnerable individuals for forced labor, sexual exploitation, or other illicit purposes. To help address these issues, the state has established the Governor’s Ohio Human Trafficking Task Force

This agency works with law enforcement, social services, and advocacy groups across the state to help reduce these crimes and bring awareness to potential victims. Human trafficking isn’t just a single criminal offense. Many times, it expands into a social issue as well. These actions are insidious, often targeting individuals from all walks of life. 

By bringing awareness and helping victims, agencies from across the state take a multi-faceted approach to combating these criminal acts. Like most communities in the country, Ohio has focused on the four Ps to counter human trafficking:

  • Prevention of these crimes
  • Protection of the victims
  • Prosecution of offenders
  • Partnerships between state and national agencies and organizations 

Laws Against These Acts

Under Ohio Revised Code Section 2905.32, individuals cannot knowingly participate in “recruiting, luring, enticing, isolating, harboring, transporting, providing, obtaining, or maintaining another person.” The offender must know that the individual will be forced into involuntary servitude or to engage in sexual activity. 

The issue of “force” does not necessarily mean physical harm. Intimation, fraud, fear, coercion, and even the manipulation of substance addiction can all fall under this category. 

In 2012, survivors can bring civil lawsuits against their traffickers. Under Ohio Revised Code 2307.51, they can sue these individuals for lost wages, medical bills, and other damages, no matter whether the trafficker has been charged or convicted.

Challenges in the State

Despite the steps forward, there continue to be challenges. Unfortunately, there is a reason that human trafficking is called a “hidden crime.” Many people might see a few red flags, but they may not know that these occurrences can be tied to criminal activities. 

For example, if an individual isolates themselves or exhibits sudden behavioral changes, that could be an indicator that they may have been victimized by a human trafficker. Many of these perpetrators exploit social media and other online platforms to look for victims. By getting that information into the hands of educators and parents, it can help inform these groups of telltale signs of potential trafficking activity. 

While campaigns have targeted specific transposition hubs, such as truck stops, rest areas, bus stations, and airports, a more concerted effort is needed to reach residents of the state. 

Ohio Is Taking Charge Against These Crimes

Ohio’s fight against human trafficking is widespread, leaving many charged with these crimes. Sometimes, even unrelated offenses can be combined with human trafficking charges.At Hunt Law LLC, we can help if you have been charged with a criminal offense in the state. To arrange a free consultation, please contact us at 330-469-9836.