More than 250 students from all over Ohio attended the 2nd Annual Human Trafficking Youth Prevention Summit. The summit was hosted by State Representatives Teresa Fedor and Tavia Galonski.
For the past nine years Fedor has hosted the annual Human Trafficking Awareness Day.
Thursday’s summit was meant to empower young people to participate in discussions of policy proposals through education and awareness.
One group of students from Walnut Ridge High School in Columbus took some time to meet with us during the summit to talk about what they have done and why they were attending.
The six students ranged in grades from 9th through 12th and were all part of the school’s “Be the One” group that won an award for helping with an effort started by Theresa Flores called Save Our Adolescents from Prostitution (SOAP).
The group helped send bars of soap to hotels around the Super Bowl. The soap was marked with a sticker that contained a hotline telephone number to call if people saw or were victims of human trafficking.
At the summit they hoped to learn more about human trafficking, but more importantly what they can do to continue to fight against it.
Fedor would like to see the annual summit grow next year into a two-day event.
She also hopes many of the students will push to be heard on House Bill 461 which would include teens 16 and 17 years old under the human trafficking statute.
The bill was introduced earlier this year and has had 1 hearing so far.