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The Salvation Army's Anti-Human Trafficking Efforts Span the Globe, from Cincinnati to Sochi, Russia

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Released 13 February 2014

 The Salvation Army's Anti-Human Trafficking Efforts Span the Globe, from Cincinnati to Sochi, Russia

The Issue is the Same Around the World, as The Salvation Army Seeks Opportunities to Aid Those Affected

Cincinnati, OH (February 13, 2014) - The Salvation Army today announced that it continues to address the issue human trafficking around the world.  Local efforts, in Greater Cincinnati, include outreach and assistance to those victimized by modern-day slavery.  Beyond assisting trafficking victims, the program aims to broaden community awareness about the extent and nature of the issue. And the issue of human trafficking is significant, whether in our local community or in Sochi, Russia, during the Winter Olympics.

"Unfortunately, large sporting events, such as the Super Bowl or the Olympics, are an impetus to an increase in sexual and human trafficking," explained Major Larry Ashcraft, Divisional Commander at The Salvation Army based in Cincinnati.  "We are engaged anywhere in the world where such fundamental human rights are being abused, and individuals are in need of our life-saving work."

On an international scale, The Salvation Army has been very active with its Olympic Outreach Team.  The goal is to increase awareness of sexual and human trafficking.  Through their volunteers on the ground, The Salvation Army is distributing materials throughout downtown Sochi.  The reality of human trafficking is eye-opening; the pamphlet that is being distributed highlights that every 30 seconds a person becomes a victim of human trafficking, and the average age of such victims is only 12 years.

"Our hearts are with those who are victimized," continued Major Ashcraft, and our efforts are aimed at working to combat these acts that violate the sanctity of each individual's identity as a child of God.  Across southwest and central Ohio, we have been working to build awareness, as well as to minister to those who need our love and concern to put their life on a new course."

In Greater Cincinnati, The Salvation Army launched an Anti-Human Trafficking program in 2012.  Since its inception, the program has provided services and material assistance to nearly 100 individuals.  Forms of assistance include housing, clothing, personal care kits, meals and food vouchers, bus passes and medical care.  Beyond efforts to provide direct assistance to trafficking victims, local efforts to build awareness have included training opportunities and a speaker's series last year in partnership with End Slavery Cincinnati and the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center.

Those in need of assistance or wanting to report a possible incidence of human trafficking can call 513-800-1863.  The hotline is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  For those interested in learning more about The Salvation Army's Anti-Human Trafficking program, or to volunteer, please call 513-762-5600 to be connected to Erin Meyer, program coordinator.

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