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New legal weapons are needed to fight human trafficking


Janet Jensen, Guest columnist

U.S. marshals working in close cooperation with Ohio authorities made 177 arrests and freed 109 human trafficking victims late last month. Attorney General Dave Yost got it exactly right when he said the victims had been “rescued from this evil.”

Human trafficking is indeed evil, yet despite all of law enforcement’s efforts, it continues to flourish. One major reason is that many state laws that were enacted decades ago are either outdated or misguided. Even more troubling, two federal laws — one on trafficking, the other covering technology — urgently need to be reformed.

Human traffickers usually operate in two spheres: commercial sexual exploitation and forced labor. There is considerable overlap between the two. Many women forced into low-wage or no-wage jobs say they also are exploited sexually. So are many children.


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