human trafficking

Hundreds of people gathered in Columbus for the 10th annual Human Trafficking Awareness Day to discuss the most pressing issues related to the issue and share what has been working in their communities. 

Human Trafficking In Columbus

Feb 28, 2019

More than 5,000 human trafficking cases -- most involving sex trafficked female victims -- were reported in the U.S. last year.

Ohio ranked fourth in human trafficking in the country, behind Florida, California and Texas, according to the National Human Trafficking Resource Center. 

The problem is nationwide, but big-time sports events attract a concentration of opportunity for sex traffickers. 

Today on All Sides, we hear about efforts to address the problem this weekend at the Arnold Sports Festival in Columbus, and about the larger incidence of human trafficking.

If you or someone you know is a victim of human trafficking, please call 1-888-373-7888. 

Larry Obhof is sworn in as president of the Ohio Senate on Jan. 7, 2019.
Ohio Senate

The leader of the Ohio Senate says the “Heartbeat Bill,” which would ban abortion when a fetal heartbeat is detected, is one of his chamber’s priorities. It’s just not at the top of their list, which includes proposals aimed at cutting state regulations, adding environmental protections and reforming criminal sentencing laws.

Brenda Troy stands in front of New Salem church on Cleveland Avenue. New Salem’s Anti-Human Trafficking Ministry worked with the Vice Unit on an initiative called the "Linden Model."
Paige Pfleger / WOSU

Cleveland Avenue stretches from downtown Columbus northward. It’s the main road through Linden, a high crime, low-income neighborhood. The sun sets as Brenda Troy and Donna Hitcho from New Salem Church walk down the street, looking for sex workers.

Rep. Smith speaks during Ohio House session on April 11, 2018.
Ohio House

The Ohio General Assembly is on summer break after a flurry of activity that included passage of dozens of bills, many sent to the governor, and a few key proposals left in limbo.

Jenn Glaser lay in bed with a severe pain in her right hip. In the last few days a large abscess had developed under her skin--an infection from injecting drugs. 

Human Trafficking in Ohio

Apr 24, 2018
sammisreachers / Pixabay

Ohio was ranked fourth in the nation for human trafficking this year. The most high profile case is being covered by the Frontline team in a special tonight. The story involves Trillium Farms employing trafficked immigrants from Guatemala through contractors who gained access to them by claiming to be their sponsors.

Today, we look at the greater issue of human trafficking in Ohio and the federal legislation that allowed the practice to slip through the cracks.

A federal grand jury in Arizona has indicted seven people behind the classified-ads website on 93 counts, including charges of facilitating prostitution and money laundering.

The defendants include founders Michael Lacey, 69, and James Larkin, 68, as well as other shareholders and employees. The indictment accuses the executives of presenting Backpage as a site to advertise escort services while knowing that "the overwhelming majority of the website's ads involve prostitution." The indictment says the site made over $500 million in "prostitution-related revenue."

Adora Namigadde

The Westerville Police are hosting a community forum about human trafficking on Monday evening.

You can still find furniture or a roommate on Craigslist. But ads seeking romance or sexual connections are no longer going to be available, after Craigslist took down the "personals" section Friday for its U.S. site.

On a Saturday afternoon at the downtown Columbus, Ohio courthouse, close to 20 men sat in a conference room; arms crossed, eyes staring blankly ahead, listening to a lecture. One white-haired man with glasses and hearing aids yelled for the presenter to speak up.

Representative Dorothy Pelanda (R-Marysville)
Ohio House

A lawmaker wants the state to crack down on adults who illegally move adopted kids from one place to another. The representative fighting this problem says this is just another form of human trafficking.

Adora Namigadde

April Zobel owns In the Bag Massage in Westerville, a small medical massage therapy clinic in a nondescript office park. A few chairs and a flat-screen television greet visitors who enter the lobby.

In leggings and a long black hoodie, Ray walked idly up and down Sullivant Avenue in Columbus, Ohio. A block away, an elementary school had let out for the day and students walked home. For Ray, work had just started.

Ohio Human Trafficking Task Force

Lawmakers in the Ohio General Assembly are landing on different sides of a debate over the criminal records of human trafficking victims. The question? What measures the state should take to conceal, and even wipe, out those records.