Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine today released the Ohio Attorney General’s Human Trafficking Commission’s 2015 Annual Report, which outlines efforts of the Commission to improve services to human trafficking victims; to assist local law enforcement's efforts to combat trafficking; and to educate Ohioans on human trafficking and what can be done to stop it.

“Human trafficking is a worldwide problem that is also found here in Ohio,” said Attorney General DeWine. “We continue to make progress in rescuing those entrapped. And all of us can help fight this by becoming informed and watchful. Ohioans can report any information they might have about human trafficking to BCI by calling 1-855-BCI-OHIO (224-6446).”

In 2015, local law enforcement agencies reported more potential human trafficking investigations and arrests than ever before. Law enforcement reported 102 human trafficking investigations leading to 104 arrests and 33 successful criminal convictions.

There were 203 potential victims of human trafficking identified, with 196 being female. Of the potential victims, three were aged 12 and under, four were aged 13, 23 were 14-15 years old, 30 were 16-17 years old, 16 were 18-20 years old.

The majority of the suspected cases included in the law enforcement data were sex trafficking, but six potential labor trafficking victims were identified. Of the potential victims, one was aged 13, two were 16-17 years old, and three were 30-40 years old.

Law enforcement agencies are tasked with categorizing the social and/or economic factors leading the victim to be trafficked. In 40 of the cases, the underlying risk factor was identified as “runaway and homeless youth.” In 22 cases, “truancy” was listed as a risk factor. The majority of cases that reported risk factors identified “drug/alcohol/other dependency” (72 cases).

In addition, 130 suspected traffickers, including 129 potential sex traffickers and one potential labor trafficker, were identified.

The number of suspected consumers or buyers/johns identified by law enforcement in 2015 was 192, the vast majority of which were identified as potential consumers of sex trafficking (167).

The Ohio Peace Officer Training Academy (OPOTA) actively trains local law enforcement to identify and investigate cases of human trafficking in Ohio. In 2015, more than 4,100 Ohio Peace Officers took part in and completed human trafficking training through OPOTA.

A copy of the report can be found on the Ohio Attorney General's website.

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