1,000 Kids a Year Forced Into Sex Slavery—in Ohio

Sweatshop labor also rampant in human trafficking hub

By Jane Yager

(Newser) – Each year in Ohio some 1,000 US-born children are forced into the sex trade and about 800 immigrants are sexually exploited or pushed into sweatshop labor. Weak trafficking laws, poorly informed law enforcement, and the state’s proximity to the Canadian border combine to make Ohio a hub of human trafficking, according to a new report by a state commission.

“Ohio is not only a destination place for foreign-born trafficking victims, but it’s also a recruitment place,” the head of the study tells the AP. Ohio’s rapidly growing immigrant population adds to trafficking networks; thanks to the nearby Toronto airport, a major international trafficking destination, Toledo ranks fourth among US cities for reported trafficking incidents. Compounding the problem, Ohio tends to treat child prostitutes as delinquents and imprison them rather than investigating the adults involved.

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