COLUMBUS- State Rep. Teresa Fedor (D- Toledo) announced the forthcoming legislation that is committed to reducing the illicit “consumer” demand for sex trafficking along with other important provisions to combat this crime. This legislation follows the successfully enacted “Safe Harbor” Act, House Bill 262, which provides a safe haven and needed services for victims as well as increasing penalties for traffickers.
The End Demand Act is expected to have bipartisan support, and is scheduled for introduction this week. The bill will address the market-driven demand for sex trafficking.
“Individuals willing to buy commercial sex expose vulnerable children and adults to the abusive realities of human trafficking,” said Rep. Fedor. “Left unchecked, human trafficking will continue to flourish in our communities. This is an important step to make sure we aggressively address some of the most deplorable, criminal activity that continues to plague our great state.”
A number of anti-human trafficking advocates and survivors were present to support passage of the legislation. Key provisions of the End Demand Act include increased penalties for the solicitation of minors; no longer requiring minors to prove force, fraud or coercion; applying Rape Shield laws to victims of human trafficking and increasing the statue of limitations. The Toledo-area lawmaker will include an emergency clause in the legislation, allowing for the immediate enforcement of its provisions once passed by the Ohio General Assembly and signed by the Governor.