AURORA, Ill. – With more people forced into slavery than any other time in human history, State Rep. Stephanie Kifowit (D-Aurora), is working to strengthen statewide efforts to end human trafficking by working with the hospitality industry to improve identification and reporting.
“Victims of human trafficking are usually exploited, alone and surrounded by predators rather than allies,” Kifowit said. “Empowering the staff where many victims are often forced into sexual exploitation — such as hotels and motels — with the tools, knowledge and resources to identify human trafficking when it occurs can lead to the miracles many of these victims are praying for.”
The Kifowit-backed human trafficking eradication legislation, House Bill 5774, requires hotels and motels to train employees in the recognition of human trafficking and protocols for reporting observed human trafficking to the appropriate authority. Kifowit strongly believes that hospitality employees can serve as a front line of defense in stopping human trafficking.
Human trafficking is described by the U.S. State Department as the “act of recruiting, harboring, transporting, providing or obtaining a person for compelled labor or commercial sex acts through the use of force, fraud or coercion”. The United Nations believes approximately 40 million people are currently enslaved, with up to 80% suffering from some form of sexual exploitation. For those who are sex trafficked in the U.S, the average age of entry is 12 to 14-year-old, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
“Slavery is not just a past horror, but a present reality for victims of human trafficking,” Kifowit continued. “We need to work harder than ever to ensure it isn’t part of our future.”
Visit Rep Kifowit’s website
200-1S Stratton Office Building
Springfield, IL 62706
1677 Montgomery Rd.
Aurora, IL 60504
(630) 585-1357 FAX