Human Trafficking to be Discussed at BGSU Firelands

Theresa FloresHuron, Ohio – Human Trafficking is the second largest illegal enterprise in the world behind only drugs and it is a growing problem in Ohio and our area.

According to a recent report by the Ohio Attorney General’s office, of those American born youth in Ohio, 2,879 are at-risk for sex trafficking, and another 1,078 youth have been trafficked into the sex trade over the course of a year.  Even more frightening is that these figures don’t take into account adults and foreigners.

Next week, Bowling Green State University Firelands College will discuss the issue of human trafficking when guest speaker Theresa Flores shares her story with community members and students.

Flores is a human trafficking survivor, author, and victims’ advocate.  Her story has been seen on the Today Show and MSNBC’s “Sex Slaves-The Teen Trade” and she is featured by the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center Museum in a traveling exhibit titled “Invisible Slavery.” 

She has also published two books “The Sacred Bath” and “The Slave Across the Street.”

Flores will provide her personal account as a victim of human trafficking at an open forum on Wednesday, Nov. 9 at 7 p.m. in the BGSU Firelands Cedar Point Center auditorium. 

On Thursday, Nov. 10, Flores will provide a workshop designed for social workers, counselors, law enforcement, prosecutors, victims’ assistance, and any other individuals who are interested in learning how to identify victims of human trafficking, how to talk with them, what signs to look for, and how to handle cases of suspected human trafficking.

The workshop will be from 9 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. and has been approved for 3 Continuing Education Units for social workers and counselors.  The workshop is also being held in the BGSU Firelands Cedar Point Center auditorium and no registration is necessary.

Both events are free and open to the public and are presented through the BGSU Firelands Community Enrichment Series which is funded by private donors.

For more information on either of the events, individuals may contact BGSU Firelands at 419.433.5560 or visit the website at www.firelands.bgsu.edu