2023 WAYNE COUNTY HUMAN TRAFFICKING PROCLAMATION
Human trafficking in the form of forced labor or commercial sexual exploitation is an abuse of power and a profoundly immoral crime that strikes at the safety, health, and dignity of 24.9 million people worldwide. During National Human Trafficking Awareness Month, we affirm our commitment to protect and empower survivors of all forms of human trafficking, to prosecute traffickers, and to bring an end to human trafficking; and
WHEREAS, In the United States, 10,360 human trafficking cases were identified with nearly 17,000 victims in 2021, a number which reflects only those victims that were able to seek help. Victims originate from nearly every region in the world; however, the United States ranks #1 as the country of origin of federally identified victims; and
WHEREAS, the impact of human trafficking is wide-ranging, directly affecting individuals, society, and our own community. Victims suffer physical, mental, emotional, and psychological trauma that requires years of support to overcome; and
WHEREAS, Ohio ranks fifth nationally in reports of human trafficking. There were 291 cases reported in 2021. Often, traffickers hide in plain sight – they are parents, intimate partners, gangs, employers, and friends. The average age of entry into trafficking is 12-14. Education about warning signs and dispelling myths about how human trafficking happens are critically important to the eradication of this crime; and
WHEREAS, now is the time to raise awareness and educate all members of society on how they can prevent and respond to human trafficking. We call on businesses, civil society organizations, communities of faith, families, and individuals—to work together for the prevention of this heinous crime. We celebrate the progress that survivor leaders, anti-trafficking organizations, communities, and allied individuals have achieved through their ongoing efforts and contributions to ending human trafficking;
NOW, THEREFORE, we, Wayne County Commissioners, hereby proclaim January 2023 as Human Trafficking Awareness Month in Wayne County.
Ron Amstutz | Jonathan Hofstetter | Sue A. Smail