(COLUMBUS, Ohio)—Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine today held the first meeting of the newly convened Human Trafficking Commission. DeWine had announced in May that the Commission would be formed and continue the work started by the Trafficking in Persons Study Commission, which was established by the Ohio General Assembly and had completed its statutory directives.
“While the statutory commission may have issued a final report, our work is not done on the issue of human trafficking in Ohio. The Human Trafficking Commission will help the Attorney General’s Office and law enforcement develop practices and proposals to root out human trafficking in our state,” Attorney General DeWine said.
The previously-formed Trafficking in Persons Study Commission was established pursuant to House Bill 280 of the 127th General Assembly. The Commission was charged to study the problem of human trafficking as it occurs in Ohio, review the criminal offenses in Ohio law that currently apply to such conduct and the penalties for those offenses, and develop recommendations to address the problem of human trafficking and to improve criminal law. The Commission issued a report in 2009, and the Ohio Attorney General’s Office also issued a follow-up report in 2010.
Attorney General DeWine formed the Human Trafficking Commission not only to continue the work of the previous commission, but also to make sure action is taken.
“The Study Commission helped identify many root causes of the problem in Ohio. The Human Trafficking Commission will use that information and take on the issue from a law enforcement perspective, raising public awareness and working to put traffickers behind bars,” said Attorney General DeWine.
Human Trafficking usually involves trafficking persons for use in the sex trade or in illegal labor operations. Nationally, over half of all human trafficking cases involve victims under the age of 18, and most girls who are engaged in sex trafficking begin between the ages of 12 and 14. The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children estimates that at least 100,000 American children become engaged in child prostitution and child trafficking each year.
Lisa Hackley: 614-466-3840