According to the UN Office on Drugs and Crime, human trafficking is the world’s fastest growing global crime, the fastest growing means by which people are enslaved and one of the largest sources of income for organized crime. UNICEF estimates that 1.2 million children are trafficked every year, while the U.S. Department of State’s 2007 Trafficking in Person Report states 600,000-800,000 men, women and children are trafficked across international borders each year. These rates have only intensified around the world in recent years, as the number of refugees and forcibly displaced people worldwide has reached over 59.5 million people, the highest level since World War II.
Human trafficking is not only a problem that afflicts those living in Syria, Somalia and South Sudan, however. Ohio’s number of sex trafficking victims is among the highest in the nation, with Toledo ranking fourth in the United States for sex trafficking-related crimes. These rates stand to increase as the Republican National Convention nears, with many concerned that the city will see an increase in sex trafficking that often accompanies hosting large conventions.
Join The City Club of Cleveland, the Cleveland Council on World Affairs, International Partners in Mission, and the Northeast Ohio Consortium for Middle Eastern Studies (NOCMES) for a discussion on human trafficking locally and abroad.