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Dayton advocacy groups push support for trafficking survivors

 Cross-section of advocates testifying at the statehouse.
Tony Talbott
Abolition Ohio
Cross-section of advocates testifying at the statehouse.

Advocacy groups in Ohio continue to push for human trafficking legislation. Two new state bills would  expand expungement provisions for survivors.

On Wednesday, The University of Dayton Center for Human Rights and Abolition Ohio joined over 50 anti-human trafficking advocates to testify for two bills in the Ohio State House and Senate .

In 2012, Ohio passed a law allowing trafficking victims to apply for expungement if they had preconditions.

The current bills being pushed would remove those preconditions. This would mean that any victim of human trafficking could apply to have their records cleared.  

“If someone is a victim or a survivor of human trafficking and they can't get rid of these convictions on their records, then they can be perpetually kept in a state of vulnerability,” Tony Talbott, the director of Abolition Ohio, an anti human trafficking coalition for Miami Valley, said.

Talbott hopes that this new legislation would expand protection for human trafficking survivors, while strengthening state anti-trafficking laws.

Abolition Ohio says they will continue to build a coalition of lawmakers, advocates and survivors, to push for the bills to be passed by early next year.

To Report Trafficking, call local police or the national hotline: 888-373-7888(text “HELP” to 233733)

Ngozi Cole is the Business and Economics Reporter for WYSO. She graduated with honors from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism in New York and is a 2022 Pulitzer Center Post-Graduate Reporting Fellow. Ngozi is from Freetown, Sierra Leone.