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State must keep up fight against child sex traffickers

July 27, 2011
Salem News

An estimate that more than 1,000 children are victims of sex trafficking each year in Ohio may be greeted with skepticism by some. That is a lot of children involved in a horrific crime, after all.

Sadly, the estimate may not be far off the mark.

For obvious reasons it is difficult to know how many children are forced into sex trafficking. But there is some solid, reliable information from an organization that helps victims of the offense.

During the past year alone, the Central Ohio Rescue and Restore Coalition, a reputable organization led by the Salvation Army, helped 60 victims of child sex trafficking. Given factors such as the coalition's limited reach geographically and the fact many victims do not seek help, it is clear the total number may well be 1,000.

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine, stressing "we must do everything in our power to stop this exploitation and abuse," has reactivated the state's Human Trafficking Commission. The panel, formed by former Attorney General Richard Cordray, had been inactive for a few months since Cordray left office. DeWine recognized the need for it to continue its work; it will meet again in mid-August.

Cordray was right to establish the commission and DeWine was correct to keep its work going. Child sex trafficking is a terrible crime that exploits the very weakest Ohioans, harming them physically and emotionally, sometimes for life.

Ohioans should provide the commission and law enforcement agencies working with it the resources needed to stamp out child sex trafficking and punish perpetrators severely.

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President Barack Obama has called for $400 billion in defense spending cuts during the next 12 years. That may not be imprudent, given a new philosophy that calls for more use of focused weapons such as special forces and aerial drones than of massive troop deployments.

But a few liberals in Congress, with U.S. Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., in the lead, want much more. They are demanding $1 trillion in defense spending cuts over 12 years.

No area of government should be immune to spending discipline. But liberals whose knee-jerk reaction to cuts in other areas of government is a resounding "no" should not be permitted to put Americans' security in jeopardy. National defense is the one absolutely crucial responsibility of government, after all.

 
 

 

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