SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – State Rep. Thaddeus Jones, D-Calumet City, made progress battling human trafficking by passing legislation boosting training programs for law enforcement and hotel workers to identify the crime and implementing tougher penalties on businesses profiting from it.

“Human trafficking is a terrible thing, and we need to do all we can not just to prevent it from happening, but to make sure anyone who profits from it pays the price,” Jones said. “Perpetrators use threats of violence to keep their prisoners in line, and many people never make it out. Businesses that are making money from exploiting the victims of human trafficking need to be stopped.”

Jones helped pass Senate Bill 1890, which is now law. The law creates a training program for all law enforcement agencies in Illinois to ensure they are ready to recognize and fight the problem. Next, it extends the statute of limitations for adult human trafficking to 25 years. Finally, it establishes penalties of up to $100,000 for any businesses that benefit from human trafficking or other types of involuntary servitude.

The bill also creates the Lodging Establishment Human Trafficking Recognition Training Act, which requires hotel owners hold regular trainings for employees to recognize signs of human trafficking.

Since 2007, 4,578 incidents of human trafficking have been reported in Illinois, with likely tens of thousands more occurrences that did not reach the authorities. The Jane Addams Center for Social Policy and Research compiled a comprehensive report on human trafficking across the county and concluded that the hospitality industry was one of the largest employers of victims of human trafficking. A 2018 Illinois government task force on the subject also identified education programs for law enforcement and hotel workers as critical steps in ending this problem.

“Combatting criminals threatening the people of my state will always be my priority,” Jones said. “I am committed to building a stronger Illinois, and I can only fulfill that promise when my communities are safe. This legislation will banish human traffickers from Illinois by destroying any hiding spot from the law they have.”

Rep. Thaddeus JonesRep. Thaddeus Jones

29th District

Springfield Office:
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