They’re startling statistics. More than 1,000 children are trafficked every year in the sex trade, and more than 3,000 Ohio youth are at risk of becoming victims of human trafficking.
The average age of a victim is 13 years and runaway children are the most vulnerable. In fact, traffickers approach children within 48 hours to a week of them running away.
According to the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000, human trafficking is defined as a commercial sex act involving a minor who is induced by force, fraud or coercion to perform such an act; or recruiting harboring, transporting, and/or obtaining a person for involuntary servitude or slavery through the use of force, fraud or coercion.
How do you identify victims of human trafficking?
Victims of human trafficking don’t have the freedom to leave, and may be branded by the trafficker. Other red flags include:
- The victim has multiple older boyfriends.
- The victim is in poor health.
- The victim has medical conditions that aren’t treated.
- The victim doesn’t speak for herself.
- The victim doesn’t know where she is located.
- The victim shows signs of being anxious, submissive or paranoid.
Akron Children’s Hospital’s Child Advocacy Center is sponsoring a free training seminar, called Preventing and Advocating for Victims of Human Trafficking, on April 23 from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at Mr. Anthony’s Banquet Center in Boardman, Ohio. The training was made possible with funding from the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services and Ohio Network of Children’s Advocacy Centers.
The training will define human trafficking, identify the risk factors and instruct attendees how to respond, and more.
To RSVP for the event, call 330-746-9150.
For more information about human trafficking, visit www.polarisproject.org.