Main Page - Latest News

Forced child prostitution on the rise. Most perps and victims are immigrants.


Remember, diversity is our strength!

From AP

About 1,000 American-born children are forced into the sex trade in Ohio every year and about 800 immigrants are sexually exploited and pushed into sweatshop-type jobs, a new report on human trafficking in the state said Wednesday.

Ohio’s weak laws on human trafficking, its growing demand for cheap labor and its proximity to the Canadian border are key contributors to the illegal activity, according to a report by the Trafficking in Persons Study Commission.

“Ohio is not only a destination place for foreign-born trafficking victims, but it’s also a recruitment place,” said Celia Williamson, an associate professor at the University of Toledo who led the research.

Formed last year by Ohio Attorney General Richard Condray, the commission also found that hundreds more in the state are at risk of being forced into sex trafficking or to work against their will in fields, restaurants, sweatshops or constructions sites.

Nationwide, between 45,000 and 50,000 people are trafficked into the United States, according to a 2001 report by the U.S. State Department. But Williamson noted that the problem is hard to quantify because of the underground nature of human trafficking, and studies often rely on estimates. Even the Ohio study, which analyzed law enforcement and government databases, is limited, she said.

Cordray said the report establishes the scope of the problem in Ohio as authorities discuss ways to combat it.

From 1990 to 2000, Ohio’s foreign-born population increased 30 percent, and the state has a growing pool of legal and illegal immigrants who draw victims or hide victims, Williamson said. These networks are highly organized, with brothels fronting as legitimate businesses.

Also, Toronto’s airport is an arrival destination for international victims who are trafficked in Canada and transported to other cities, helping make Toledo, about 55 miles southwest of Windsor, Ontario, rank fourth in the U.S. in terms of arrests, investigations and rescue of domestic child-sex victims, the report said.

Only Miami, Portland, Ore., and Las Vegas had more.