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How one teacher equips students to stop trafficking before it starts

Christian Science Monitor |

When Ohio mandated five years ago that public school staff receive training on human trafficking (ORC 3319.073 (B) – without providing any money or much direction – Toledo Public Schools’ teacher Mona Al-Hayani developed a curriculum for the district, trained more than 20,000 students and educators in how to identify risk factors, connected the schools to local advocacy groups, and has started offering training for nearby communities.

As her school prepares to start the year remotely, Ms. Al-Hayani has been helping develop an app called Youth Pages, which offers resources to mitigate factors that lead to human trafficking.

This illegal multi-million dollar industry has largely been hidden in the shadows, but human trafficking cases have been reported in all 50 states. Ohio has ranked as high as fifth among all states in total reported human trafficking cases with Toledo being identified as the fourth highest ranking city in the nation for recruiting victims into the illegal trade.