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      Sex trafficking conference at UT today

      Around the world there are concerns about children forced into militias and little girls imprisoned inbrothels, but human trafficking is happening right here in Toledo.

      Reports from cities with federal Innocence Lost Task Forces lists Toledo as the third largest city for human trafficking and sex slavery.

      The Glass City is doing its part to stop this by hosting one of the largest international conferences to combat the issue. The Ninth Annual International Human Trafficking, Prostitution and Sex Work Conference at The University of Toledo.

      The plan is to share the latest in research, advocacy and programs to effectively respond to the issue.

      â??Sex trafficking does not only happen in other countries or other communities. It permeates our society in a way that would shock most people,â?? said Celia Williamson, PhD, UT professor of social work and founder of Second Chance, a social service program located in Toledo that provides comprehensive services to victims of domestic sex trafficking and prostitution.

      â??The victims of this heinous crime need our support and the perpetrators of underage prostitution need harsher penalties. It is imperative that researchers, social workers, health care professionals and criminal justice professionals work together collaboratively to combat this problem,â?? says Williamson.

      The conference is scheduled to take place 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. today and tomorrow in the Student Union on the UT Main Campus.

      What can the people of Toledo do to help stop sex trafficking in our town? Sound off below...