Ohio AG joins fight to stop human trafficking nationwide - Toledo News Now, News, Weather, Sports, Toledo, OH

Ohio AG joins fight to stop human trafficking nationwide

COLUMBUS, OH (Toledo News Now) -

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine, along with 46 other state and territorial attorneys general, sent letters to Congress Tuesday, asking them to fund the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act. 

The funding would go towards programs that fight human trafficking in the United States and abroad.

"Human trafficking is a problem that will not go away unless we have the tools to fight it," said DeWine. "By funding the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act, Congress will be taking the right action towards preventing this crime and helping those who have already fallen victim to human traffickers."

Established in 2000, the TVPRA greatly increased America's efforts to protect human trafficking victims, assist survivors, improve prevention methods and successfully prosecute human traffickers. The original legislation established human trafficking as a federal crime. 

Copies of the letters sent to the Appropriations Subcommittee on Homeland Security and Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies are available on the Attorney General's website.

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, after drug dealing, trafficking of humans is tied with arms dealing as the second-largest criminal industry in the world, generating about $32 billion each year. A study of U.S. Department of Justice human trafficking task force cases shows that 83 percent of sex trafficking victims identified in the U.S. were U.S. citizens. The average ages that U.S. citizens are first used for commercial sex is 12–14.

Attorneys general from 44 states, excluding New Jersey, New York, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia signed the letter to Congress. Territories, including Guam, Northern Mariana Islands and Virgin Islands, also signed the letter.

DeWine has been aggressive in his fight to end human trafficking since taking office in 2011. In June, he released the first annual Human Trafficking Statistics Report, as required by Ohio's Safe Harbor Law.  

DeWine also re-established the Human Trafficking Commission to work to analyze, research, and find solutions to the human trafficking problem. The commission released an in-depth report on Ohio's human trafficking problem in August 2012.

Additionally, DeWine formed the Central Ohio Human Trafficking Task Force and the Central Ohio Human Trafficking Collaborative to bring greater focus to the problem of human trafficking, add capacity to respond to human trafficking cases, and build communication channels across jurisdictional boundaries.

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