Safeguarding Minors: A Bill to Strengthen Ohio's Human Trafficking Victim's Protections.

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Ohio state law-maker Teresa Fedor wants state-law changed to protect minor victims of human trafficking. Rep. Fedor, D-Toledo, has offered legislation to ensure 16 and 17 year-olds trapped in Human Trafficking don't face prostitution charges but instead are provided with services to escape their captors.

The Bill would amend section 2905.32 "Trafficking in Persons" and section 2929.01 "Penalties and Sentencing" of the Ohio Revised Code to provide that the same elements for the offense of trafficking in persons that applies to a victim under the age of sixteen would also apply to a victim who is age sixteen or seventeen.

Generally, the amendments would change qualifying language in the existing legislation; for example, replacing "less than sixteen" with "less than eighteen" and replacing "a victim who is less than sixteen years of age" with "a victim who is a minor."

In 2016 the Polaris Project - a nonprofit organization that tracks human trafficking - says the crime of trafficking in persons is on the rise in Ohio, and nationally. The report shows one-in-four cases in Ohio involved someone under the age of 18. Representative Fedor's legislation is specifically aimed at stopping human trafficking of children. 

Federal Human Trafficking laws already recognize, as victims, the individuals that Rep. Fedor's proposed amendments aim to protect. It is time Ohio law, like Federal Law, recognizes that there should not, and cannot, be such a thing as sixteen or seventeen-year-old prostitute. A prostituted child is a victim of sex trafficking. 

By signing this petition, you're letting your Ohio law makers know: "I agree with Rep. Fedor's stance against punishing child victims of sex trafficking and I support her proposed amendments." 

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