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Human Trafficking Cases In Ohio And The U.S. On The Rise

A new study by a non-profit group that tracks human trafficking cases says it is seeing more of them in Ohio and around the nation. Alison Holm reports.

Data from the group Polaris shows there were 375 human trafficking cases in Ohio last year, up from 289 in 2015. The data is based on more than 13 hundred reports made to a national hotline. 277 cases of sex trafficking and 42 cases of labor trafficking were reported. One in four cases involved a juvenile.
The most commonly cited situations where trafficking was reported involved traveling sales people, restaurant workers, health and beauty companies and agricultural operations. Nationally, Polaris says there were more than 8 thousand cases last year, up 35 percent from 2015. Those figures are based on cases reported in the U.S., from overseas, and from the agency's textline for victims. Polaris blames the increases in part on greater awareness of the national hotline, but says trafficking is still under-reported. Local and state leaders have taken several steps to raise awareness and combat human trafficking in recent years.  The National Human Trafficking Hotline number is 1-888-373-7888 Victims may also text Polaris at 233733.

A native of Chicago, naturalized citizen of Cincinnati and resident of Columbus, Alison attended Earlham College and the Ohio State University. She has equal passion for Midwest history, hockey and Slavic poetry.
Jim has been with WCBE since 1996. Before that he worked as a reporter at another Columbus radio station, and for three newspapers in Southwest Florida.
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