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Human Trafficking Initiative

The Ohio Children’s Trust Fund has identified human trafficking prevention as one of its core initiatives for funding and outreach.  

Human trafficking is a serious problem that affects children and teens across the country — including in Ohio. Children who become victims of human trafficking also may be victims of physical, sexual, or other types of abuse or maltreatment.  

We believe that preventing human trafficking aligns with our mission to prevent child abuse and neglect through investing in strong communities, healthy families and safe children.

As part of our anti-human trafficking initiative, the Ohio Children’s Trust Fund: 

  • Participates in the Ohio Human Trafficking Task Force.
  • Assisted in the development of a Human Trafficking Prevention Youth Curriculum, and accompanying professional Train-the-Trainer training.
  • Has conducted awareness campaigns and public outreach to educate the public about human trafficking.
  • Provides funding to organizations for programs related to human trafficking prevention.

What is Human Trafficking?

You may have learned in school that slavery ended in the United States with the Civil War. But a form of modern-day slavery lingers on in the form of human trafficking. Human trafficking involves profiting from the exploitation of others — including children — for purposes such as forced labor or prostitution, with or without transporting them.

In Ohio, human trafficking is specifically defined by Ohio Revised Code Section 2905.32 this way:

  • “(A) No person shall knowingly recruit, lure, entice, isolate, harbor, transport, provide, obtain, or maintain… another person knowing that the person will be subjected to involuntary servitude or be compelled to engage in sexual activity…”
  • “…For a prosecution under division (A)(1) of this section, the element "compelled" does not require that the compulsion be openly displayed or physically exerted. The element "compelled" has been established if the state proves that the victim's will was overcome by force, fear, duress, or intimidation, or fraud.”

Promising Practices Compendium

In addition to funding programs and services, the Ohio Children’s Trust Fund has co-chaired the Governor’s Human Trafficking Task Force initiatives to prevent the exploitation of at-risk children and youth.

As part of this activity, through funding from the Ohio Department of Higher Education, we collaborated with the University of Toledo’s Human Trafficking and Social Justice Institute and the Governor’s Task Force, including the Ohio Department of Public Safety, to evaluate the literature on human trafficking youth prevention and our prevention mini-grants to share practices for human trafficking prevention that appear promising and effective.

The University of Toledo created a compendium of these practices that focuses on:

  • Awareness
  • Building coalitions
  • Providing direct prevention services
  • Collecting data

It also discusses components that should be included in services provided directly to children or teens who are at-risk.

How You Can Have an Impact

If you want to help stop human trafficking in Ohio, there’s more than one way to help.

You can participate in training to learn how to talk to youth about human trafficking and how to become aware of the signs of human trafficking.

You can also consider donating to the Ohio Children’s Trust Fund. Your donation can help support programs and services to prevent human trafficking — and much more. Learn more about how your donation can help.