At a ribbon-cutting and dedication ceremony this afternoon, State Rep. Teresa Fedor (D-Toledo) and several leaders of the community celebrated the opening of a Human Trafficking and Social Justice Institute within the College of Social Justice and Human Service at the University of Toledo.
“I’m honored to be part of the formal dedication of the University of Toledo’s Human Trafficking and Social Justice Institute,” said Rep. Fedor. “UT’s Human Trafficking Institute will build on the landmark research and prestigious work of UT Professor Dr. Celia Williamson, and it will have a profound impact, not just locally, but worldwide. As the only one of its kind, the work of this institute will go a long way toward rescuing and restoring victims, as well as aiding in the prosecution of the criminals.”
The mission of the institute is to respond to human trafficking and social justice through teaching, research and service. Programs will be established to help victims become survivors and for survivors to become “thrivers,” individuals who have completed the healing process and established stable and productive lives. The institute will also work to advance the body of knowledge on human trafficking issues and track effective solutions to these problems.
For the past nine years, Rep. Fedor has been a leading advocate in the fight to end human trafficking. Most recently, Rep. Fedor passed Sub. H.B. 130, the End Demand Act. In 2012, the General Assembly passed Rep. Fedor’s Safe Harbor Act – a victim centered bill aimed at providing protection, prosecution and prevention. And while in the Senate, Fedor passed Ohio’s first bill to define human trafficking and make it illegal, Senate Bill 235.