I was shocked and appalled several years ago when it came to light that Ohio, especially the county I live in, is a major hub of human trafficking (otherwise known as modern day slavery). Lisa Preston summarizes in her article Human Trafficking in Ohio , the information presented in a report by Trafficking in Persons Research and Analysis Sub committee to Ohio’s Attorney General and relates that the “study estimates that 3,437 foreign born persons in Ohio may be at risk for both labor and sex trade trafficking – 783 of which are estimated to be trafficked into the labor or sex trade in Ohio.” Either way, it was eye opening for me, and snapped me out of my naivety. It’s so easy to think that things like slavery can’t possibly still happen in our modern world. When I found Polaris Project, I knew in my heart that I had to share it with you.
Polaris Project is dedicated to the abolition of slavery, and providing help for the victims of slavery. I highly recommend that you begin your journey on the site at the About Us section. There, you’ll learn all about the organization, its individual team members, its successes, and a ten year timeline that shows the impact the organization has had on the world.
After that, click Human Trafficking and learn why human trafficking still exists, how it happens, how it is facilitated, who its victims are, the myths and misconceptions surrounding it, and what anti-trafficking efforts are being made. You will also find specific information on Sex and Labor Trafficking in the US, Tips to Recognize the Signs of Human Trafficking, International Trafficking (the numbers are staggering here, it is estimated that 12.3 million men, women, and children are being forced into sex or labor trafficking around the world today), and a very handy Trafficking FAQ that you should definitely check out.
Next, head over to the What We Do section where you can learn about the comprehensive approach that they have in dealing with, preventing, and combating human trafficking. What I particularly liked is that they offer vignettes from their National Humane Trafficking Resource Center Hotline. So you get a real feel for the actual situations of people who have been forced into Sex or Labor Trafficking. It also gives me hope to know that there are people crusading against this and that slowly, but surely, they are making a difference.
Finally, you can check out the Resource section where you’ll find an amazing Map (for the US by State  or links for International) that shows the amount of calls the NHTRC hotline receives. In this section you can also Report a Tip, and find Resources and information on how you can get involved.
I’m doing my part by raising awareness by sharing this with you and over the social networks I participate in.