TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - The momentum to put an end to human trafficking is growing, with more and more people getting educated and involved.
This was evident as hundreds of people gathered on the University of Toledo's campus for a Human Trafficking Seminar on Thursday and Friday.
In the seminar's 14 years, it has attracted people not just from across Ohio, but from around the world.
Professor Celia Williamson has dedicated her life to fighting for others.
"I think people are now talking about it. They're aware of it," Williamson said. "But they may not have the nuances, they may not have the skills and tool and knowledge to go out and affect change. So, being aware of it is not good enough anymore. We have to provide you with the tools."
Williamson said the University of Toledo is at the forefront of stopping human trafficking, sex trafficking and labor trafficking.
"So labor trafficking hasn't really, we haven't done a lot of awareness about that," Williamson said. "But there are people trapped in jobs who aren't allowed to quit who are under severe threat."
She said the conference brings representatives from different groups from around the world to come together and find solutions for these problems.
"If you can afford it, please buy fair trade because that's your guarantee that everyone along that supply chain, even the guy picking the cocoa beans in the field, is being paid a fair wage," Williamson said.
Williamson said human trafficking can happen anywhere, and Toledo is not immune. She points to the most recent case in our area, where two Toledo pastors were charged with sex trafficking young girls.
The Human Trafficking Seminar lasts all day Thursday and Friday.
Williamson said much of the money from the registration fee goes to fighting sex trafficking in Toledo.