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Government & Politics

Group That Fights Human Trafficking Finds Good News in Increased Reports in Ohio

photo of Kathie Gray, Heather Scott
KABIR BHATIA
/
WKSU
Events like last year's walk against human trafficking in North Canton have drawn attention to the problem, which a report shows continues to grow in Ohio.

A new report shows that the number of human trafficking victims continues to increase in Ohio. Since 2014, when the state began compiling data, Ohio has moved from fifth-place to fourth in the nation for the number of cases.  California, Texas and Florida make up the top three.

Susan Laird is executive director of the Northeast Ohio Coalition Against Human Trafficking.  She says the increase is “a double-edged sword,” since it involves the number of reported cases.

“I was originally very disappointed, and I thought, ‘what are we doing; we’re not making an impact?’  And our Mahoning Valley Human Trafficking Task Force said, ‘no, you don’t understand.  People are talking about this now.  They’re calling for information.  We’re getting reports and tips.  This is a good thing.’”

The statistics are released every January in conjunction with Human Trafficking Awareness month. The report from the state’s Human Trafficking Task Force can be viewed here.