Ohio AG Dave Yost launches human trafficking summit to build ‘freeway to freedom’ for victims

Cleveland.com | Jeremy Pelzer

For years, law-enforcement officials, victims’ advocates and others have been working to address Ohio’s status as one of the worst states in the nation when it comes to human trafficking – the transporting of people for forced prostitution or labor.

But for the first time, Attorney General Dave Yost has convened a summit so that all these groups battling human trafficking independently can communicate and collaborate on better solutions to the problem.

Hundreds of people attended Yost’s inaugural Human Trafficking Summit, held Thursday at the Greater Columbus Convention Center. Before they headed to a day of educational workshops, attendees were told by Yost that he hoped the summit would help identify “gaps” in the work being done to stop human trafficking…

But during his first year in office, Yost has been doing more than just metaphorical road-building when it comes to human trafficking. He created a Human Trafficking Initiative within his office to assist with prosecuting trafficking cases and help educate people such as hotel staff and health department workers to recognize signs of human trafficking (such as a couple checking into a hotel with no luggage, or changes in behavior by victims).

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