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Human trafficking ranks as the second-largest criminal industry in the world, raking in $150 billion

Published: Mon, September 25, 2017 @ 12:05 a.m.

Human trafficking ranks as the second-largest criminal industry in the world, raking in $150 billion in profits annually.

Last year, law-enforcement agencies in Ohio reported 135 human-trafficking investigations, leading to 79 arrests and 28 criminal convictions.

Law-enforcement officers identified 151 potential trafficking victims in 2016.

Of those potential victims, 117 were female, 17 were male, and 17 did not have a gender specified.

One was 12 or younger; 14 were between 14 and 15 years old; 21 were between 16 and 17; 28 were between 18 and 20; 51 were between 21 and 29; 24 were between 30 and 40; and six were between 41 and 69 (six did not have an age listed).

Eighty-four were white; 32 were black; 30 were Asian/Pacific Islander or American Indian/Native Alaskan; and five did not have an ethnicity listed.

In 2016, law enforcement identified 170 suspected traffickers, 160 of whom were potential sex traffickers, compared with 10 labor traffickers.

Of those 170, 127 were male, 28 were female, and 15 did not have a gender specified.

Eighty-nine were black; 60 were white; and 21 were Asian/Pacific Islander.

One was 14 or 15 years old; seven were between 18 and 20; 60 were 21 to 29; 79 were 30 to 40; 15 were 41 to 59; and eight had no age listed.

Law enforcement identified 102 suspected “johns,” or customers. All but one was male.

Law-enforcement agencies were asked to categorize the social and/or economic factors leading the victim to be trafficked.

In 22 cases, law enforcement identified the underlying risk factor as “runaway and homeless youth.”

In four cases, truancy was listed.

The most reported risk factor, cited 67 times, was drug/alcohol dependency.

Source: International Labor Organization, Ohio Attorney General’s Office’s 2016 Human Trafficking Commission annual report

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