Ohio is one of the states with high human trafficking cases. In the last five years, the various human trafficking statistics resources have highlighted high human trafficking figures in the state. For instance, Southern Ohio had the second-highest human trafficking cases, according to the 2020 statistics.
The Federal Human Trafficking annual report provides detailed coverage of human trafficking cases in Ohio and the US.
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What is Human Trafficking?
Human trafficking is the act of depriving individuals of their freedom for financial gains. Those involved in such activities lure their victims into trafficking activities through tricks, fraud, threats, or physical assault. The victims are then engaged in various illegal activities against their will. They engage in the provision of services like domestic work, commercial sex, illicit activities, and traveling sales crews.
Human trafficking is an industry on its own, though an illegal one. It reports enormous profits from the various criminal activities they involve in.
Who Engages in Human Trafficking?
Human traffickers span all races, social statuses, and other demographic categories.
This group of individuals takes advantage of their power or wealth to control its potential victims into doing illegal and unacceptable things unwillingly. However, some of them have the same social status as their victims. They may include gang members, business operators, intimate partners, government executives, and, most shockingly, family members. Yes, a family member can take your freedom for financial gain.
Who are the Targets in Human Trafficking?
Individuals doing human trafficking target a wide range of individuals. They target the state's vulnerable, helpless group of people, ranging from children to adults. They also target the solid and able individuals who are later engaged in forced labor and services.
The Ohio Department of Health reports that human trafficking actions are criminal activities that have gained popularity. Those involved have money-gaining motives, and in the estimate, the total money involved in this illegal activity is over $35 billion; shocking! Right? Because this figure represents the large profits establishments like Google and Nike get annually.
How do Human Traffickers Trick Their Targets?
Human traffickers within Ohio use tricks to manipulate their targets. They use deceptive tricks to trick children. In some cases, they can use violence and threats to get adults.
After getting their clients, they force them into delivering services unwillingly. You can engage in commercial sex or labor provision without any financial gain. Many domestic workers and farmworkers are victims of human trafficking.
What is National Human Trafficking Hotline?
The National Human Trafficking Hotline is an agency within the United States tasked to gather human trafficking data and provide information and reports of their findings. They have extensive coverage of human trafficking in all the states within the US.
The Ohio human trafficking task force gets information about human trafficking from phone calls. They also get this information from emails, texts, online reports, and online chats from their website.
Note that this data does not represent human trafficking within the covered states. The agency uses this information to help those affected (human trafficking victims and survivors) and educate the citizens on human trafficking and anti-trafficking resources. These are efforts towards combatting human trafficking.
The agency uses the data gathered for reported trafficking and potential trafficking to provide a comprehensive report on human trafficking. Due to data unavailability and transparency delays, the agency may not update more recent information.
How to Report Human Trafficking Cases
If you have information or a clue about human trafficking in your area, you can call the toll-free number 1-888-373-7888.
You can also text chat to report or find information about human trafficking resources using 233733.
You can also call this number to learn more about anti-trafficking resources. This call is confidential, and you can access it 24/7.
How Many Juveniles Are Victims of Human Trafficking?
Juveniles are the prime targets of human traffickers. Human trafficking reports show that juvenile trafficking cases reported over 1,030 between 2014 and 2016. These statistics are from the reports done by the University of Cincinnati.
Other than the confirmed cases, more than 4,200 minor victims were at risk of being trafficked within the state of Ohio.
Many other agencies dealing with human trafficking within Ohio were unwilling to give out their statistics. Such figures represent the gaps observed when compiling such annual reports. Therefore, the actual figure representing the number of Ohio juveniles trafficked might be more than the reported cases.
Juveniles trafficking has labor provision, sex activities, and other criminal activities motives. But, out of all these reasons, most of them are trafficked for commercial sex work.
Cuyahoga County, Clark County, Champaign County, Geauga County, Scioto County, and Warren County reports vast trafficking cases. The commissioner of emergency services and child welfare services agencies in these counties have partnered to provide anti-trafficking services.
Ohio State Human Trafficking Statistics
According to the 2020 National Human Trafficking Hotline report, the total number of human trafficking cases reported in Ohio is 310 cases. This human trafficking figure generates from 1,087 contacts made throughout the year.
The human trafficking task force was able to identify some survivors and victims of trafficking. Of the total human trafficking survivors identified, 122 were high indicators, while 348 were moderate. The victims and survivors who contacted the task force were 370 individuals.
Breakdown of Ohio State Human Trafficking Statistics
The reported human trafficking cases within Ohio, based on the Hotline statistics:
Type of Trafficking
Most alleged trafficking revolves around commercial sex trafficking. Of the 310 total individuals trafficked, 241 were involved in sex trafficking.
45 trafficking cases were unspecified human trafficking types.
Labor trafficking had 21 cases.
Labor and sex had 3 cases.
The 21 cases reported as labor trafficking are as follows.
Domestic work trafficking had the highest number of cases. 3 individuals from the 21 total cases were involved in domestic work.
Traveling sales crews came second after domestic work cases with 3 cases.
Retail and other small business human trafficking also had 3 cases.
Arts, entertainment, and construction also had 3 cases each.
Sex Trafficking took place in various diverse environments. Below is a breakdown of the top environments where sex trafficking took place.
Resident-based commercial cases had the highest number of individuals—22 cases from 241 alleged sex trafficking rings across residential setups.
Pornography accounts for 21 trafficking cases.
Hotels and motels had 20 sex trafficking cases.
Online ads had 17 sex human trafficking cases.
Lastly, the remaining 16 sex trafficking cases were from unnamed sources.
Based on gender, female individuals are more vulnerable to human trafficking than male victims.
Out of the 310 human trafficking cases reported, 266 were female victims, their male counterparts were 30, while the gender minorities accounted for the least percentage, with 3 individuals from the total 310.
In terms of age, adults dominated the list of individuals involved in human trafficking.
From the 310 total cases reported, 212 of them were adults.
77 of the 310 reported human trafficking cases were juveniles.
The agency attained these human trafficking statistics through various platforms.
Out of the 310 reported cases:
- 193 of them reported human trafficking.
- 91 of the individuals accessed service referrals.
- 26 requested crisis assistance.
The total contacts were also made through different platforms, as shown below.
- 20 contacts were from unspecified platforms.
- 13 contacts were from the internet services
- 12 contacts were from referrals.
- Other platforms constituted 9 referrals.
- 6 referrals were from training and conference programs.
Those who contacted the agency regarding human trafficking are listed below.
- 370 contacts were human trafficking victims.
- 184 contacts were community members.
- 118 contacts were NGO representatives.
- 81 contacts were victims of other crimes.
Human Trafficking Penalty
Allegations of sex trafficking are criminal offenses. Common trafficking scenarios attract penalties of different magnitudes. For instance, 1st-degree trafficking and trafficking involving vulnerable populations like minors and mentally-challenged individuals may attract severe penalties. Human trafficking of a 16-year-old girl or any other can attract prison sentences of several months in prison.
Society is encouraged to involve in training programs with collaborative agencies like child welfare agencies. Through coordination, these agencies have created public awareness campaign materials to educate citizens on anti-trafficking. Awareness of trafficking and providing services like victim services and legal services are key to helping child trafficking survivors and child sex trafficking victims. This anti-trafficking training has no training requirements as you only need to enroll in the program.