Support SB 235 and End Trafficking in Ohio
  • Petitioned Senator Bill Harris

This petition was delivered to:

Ohio Senate President
Senator Bill Harris
Ohio Governor

Support SB 235 and End Trafficking in Ohio

    1. Dana Liebelson
    2. Petition by

      Dana Liebelson

      Washington, DC

  1.  
  2.   
December 2010

Victory

For years, Ohio has been one of the few states in the U.S. without a law criminalizing human trafficking. That changed when Governor Strickland signed SB 235 into law, making it the first law in the state of Ohio making human trafficking a crime. The law goes into effect immediately, and gives Ohio law enforcement more tools to intervene in human trafficking situations and service providers greater resources to help victims.

Update: SB 235, which would, at last, make human trafficking a felony-level crime in Ohio, has sailed through the Ohio House and Senate. But without a signature from Governor Ted Strickland, the law will not be enacted. Time is running out before the 128th General Assembly comes to an end. Please urge Governor Strickland to sign SB 235 into law.

1,000 minors are trafficked in Ohio each year, and hundreds of immigrants are exploited in sweatshops. One federal investigator has called Toledo the number one teen prostitution location in the United States. The victims are almost exclusively American-born girls. Senate Bill 235, jointly proposed by Senator Teresa Fedor (D-Toledo) and Senator Tim Grendell (R-Chesterland), has the potential to change this.

Enacting the bill would make trafficking a second-degree felony, expand the existing law to include forced labor, and make it a first-degree felony to force a minor into prostitution. Currently, Ohio does not have a stand-alone human trafficking law, and is one of only five states where trafficking is not a felony.

Although hundreds of supporters have advocated for the bill— including several federally backed human-trafficking coalitions—it may never see the light of day. Ohio Senate President Bill M. Harris is planning to shorten the next session of the General Assembly, potentially cutting the bill from the agenda. In that case, it would have to be reintroduced in January.  The victims of trafficking in America’s heartland can’t wait until January. The bill needs to pass now. It’s time to remind members of the legislature in Ohio that the opposite of good is not evil—it’s apathy.

Raise support for the bill and urge Senator Bill Harris to keep it on the agenda. Send this letter to both your own state senators, and the Ohio Senate President. If we get 1000 signatures—one for every child trafficked in Ohio this year—it will be a huge stride towards ending trafficking in the United States. 

Photo by Ronn Aldaman

 

Recent signatures

    News

    1. Tell Ohio Governor Strickland to Make Human Trafficking a Felony

      Amanda Kloer
      Campaign Director

      Ohio is considered to be a major hub of human trafficking, and it is also one of just a handful of U.S. states that doesn’t have a law criminalizing human trafficking. Coincidence? I think not. The good news is Senate Bill 235, a law that would...

    2. Victory! Ohio Trafficking Bill Passes Senate, Goes to Governor

      Amanda Kloer
      Campaign Director

      At the tail end of their legislative session, the Ohio state senate has passed legislation that would make human trafficking a felony in the state. The move comes after over 800 Change.org members asked Ohio lawmakers not to let the legislation...

    3. Fight to Criminalize Human Trafficking in Ohio Nears Victory

      Amanda Kloer
      Campaign Director

      In the past weeks, over 650 Change.org members have told the Ohio senate that being a hotbed for modern slavery and still not having a decent law criminalizing human trafficking is not acceptable for a state. But recently, there’s been concrete...

    4. Tell Ohio: Stop Being a Hub of Human Trafficking

      Amanda Kloer
      Campaign Director

      This week, CQ Press came out with its list of the most dangerous U.S. cities. The findings are based on a study of FBI crime statistics. We were curious to know: how do the crime numbers match up with rates of human trafficking? It turns out, there...

    5. Ohio State Senate Considers Nixing Help for Trafficked Children

      Amanda Kloer
      Campaign Director

      Each year, over 1,000 American minors are trafficked in the state of Ohio, and hundreds of immigrants are exploited in farms, factories, and even nail salons. That's why state Senator Teresa Fedor (D-Toledo) has introduced a bill that would give Ohio...

    Supporters


    Develop your own tools to win.

    Use the Change.org API to develop your own organizing tools. Find out how to get started.