U.S, Feb 24, 2020: The Ohio Governor’s Human Trafficking Task Force invited survivor-advocate Harold D’Souza to train Ohio State Highway Patrol Officers on identifying red flags on human labor trafficking and debt bondage.
Ohio Governor Mike DeWine has taken the initiative to transform Ohio into an anti-human trafficking zone, freedom first, freedom for all.
This event was organized on February 20, 2020 at Patrol General Headquarters located at Columbus. Harold D’Souza shared his lived experience of labor trafficking and debt bondage in America. He spoke about how foreign national victims are scared to see, talk or even cross paths with a Police Officer.
Harold said, “Immigrant victims are manipulated, tricked, and trapped by perpetrators with threats of being arrested, handcuffed, jailed, and deported.”
The Patrol is a division of the Ohio Department of Public Safety, which is administrated by a director who holds a cabinet-level position in state government. The commander of the Patrol holds the rank of Colonel and is referred to as the Superintendent. The Patrol maintains a uniformed complement of about 1,600 officers. In addition, about 1,000 support personnel, including load limit inspectors, motor vehicle inspectors, motor carrier enforcement inspectors, dispatchers, electronics technicians, and civilian specialists complete the Patrol’s personnel strength.
Michelle Hannan, from The Salvation Army, spoke on building rapport with human trafficking survivors. Delegates from Department of Homeland Security Investigations addressed on assisting foreign nationals and victims of labor trafficking on issuing Continued Presence status to qualifying victims, which leads to U or T Visa and eventually to Permanent Residency also called the Green Card.
“It was encouraging, empowering, and emotional to witness these humble, honest, and human Ohio State Highway Patrol Officers’ passion to protect the victims and prosecute the perpetrators,” reflected Harold D’Souza.
If you or anyone you know is a victim of human trafficking, please share your trauma with Ohio State Highway Patrol or call Human Trafficking Hotline: 1-888-373-7888 to get freedom.