Three local people honored in Global Freedom Heroes on Thursday - WSFA.com Montgomery Alabama news.

Three honored for working to combat human trafficking

Posted: Updated:
  • More newsMore>>

  • Russian aid trucks begin to leave Ukraine

    Russian aid trucks begin to leave Ukraine

    Saturday, August 23 2014 6:48 AM EDT2014-08-23 10:48:03 GMT
    Some of the trucks in a Russian aid convoy that entered Ukraine in a move denounced by Kiev as an invasion are returning to Russia.More >>
    Hundreds of trucks from a bitterly disputed Russian aid convoy to rebel-held eastern Ukraine rolled back across the border into Russia on Saturday.More >>
  • Hamas backs International Criminal Court bid

    Hamas backs International Criminal Court bid

    Saturday, August 23 2014 6:35 AM EDT2014-08-23 10:35:16 GMT
    A senior Hamas leader says the group signed a pledge to back any Palestinian bid to join the International Criminal Court. Such a step could expose Israel - as well as Hamas - to war crimes investigations.More >>
    Hamas has signed a pledge to back any Palestinian bid to join the International Criminal Court, two senior officials in the group said Saturday. Palestinian acceptance of the court's jurisdiction could expose Israel -...More >>
  • Paris to celebrate end to Nazi rule 70 years later

    Paris to celebrate end to Nazi rule 70 years later

    Saturday, August 23 2014 6:12 AM EDT2014-08-23 10:12:37 GMT
    Her code name was Rainer and she had a gun she called Oscar. Not yet 20, she aimed her weapon at a Nazi officer and shot him to death on a Paris bridge on a Sunday afternoon.More >>
    Her code name was Rainer and she had a gun she called Oscar. Not yet 20, she aimed her weapon at a Nazi officer and shot him to death on a Paris bridge on a Sunday afternoon.More >>
CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) -

Human trafficking is a worldwide issue gaining a lot of steam, and it's hitting closer to home.

Three people from the Cincinnati area were honored at the Freedom Center Thursday evening for the work they do to put a stop to human trafficking.

The inaugural Cincinnati Trafficking in Persons Report heroes are Don Gerred from Crossroads Church, FBI agent Pam Matson and Carol Thornton-Gamble from Cincinnati Union Bethel's Off the Streets program.

Four people were accused this week of enslaving a mentally disabled woman and her child in Ashland, OH.  Police say they would beat her, lock her in the basement and force her to work.

That's exactly what these honorees are trying to fight.

"There have been studies about how bad the problem has been here in the Cincinnati area and all of Ohio, for that matter.  Let's just say it's busy enough, and there are enough cases to keep us quite busy," said honoree, Pam Matson.

Matson works with human trafficking cases in her position with the FBI and with End Slavery Cincinnati.  This issue is gaining national attention, but might be lesser known here at home.

"Most people in Cincinnati don't see how much trafficking is going on, and it is really going on.  It's changed from a lot of the drug dealers stopped selling drugs, and now they're trying to sell flesh," said honoree, Carol Thornton-Gamble.

Honoree Don Gerred works to help women saved from sex trafficking in India.  He says there are similarities in the activities at home and abroad, and the statistics are eye-opening.

"If you look at the studies of girls that are in prostitution, women that are in prostitution, what you find is that, on average, greater than 50% entered into prostitution at age 13," said Gerred.

At one time, Thornton-Gamble was homeless and addicted to drugs.  She knew the street lifestyle all too well.  But now, she's trying to change lives.

"I've been clean for 18 years.  What's for me is, I'm able to go back and help the ladies and give them hope in a hopeless situation," added Thornton-Gamble.

With these three were people from all over the world who were honored for their work, as well.  They were in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday for an award ceremony at the White House with Secretary of State John Kerry.

Copyright 2013 WXIX. All rights reserved.

Powered by WorldNow