“Human trafficking is a heinous crime and requires the entire community to be vigilant in recognizing signs of this form of modern slavery,” said Stuart. “No matter where you live in our state, victims of human trafficking can be anywhere and need advocates to report suspicious behavior.”
According to the 2018 Illinois Human Trafficking Task Force Report, there were 193 identified cases of human trafficking in Illinois in 2017, involving 552 trafficked persons and survivors. As part of a comprehensive approach to combat this crisis, Stuart sponsored legislation in 2019 to require additional training for hotel and motel employees to recognize and report instances of human trafficking. Victims often show signs of physical harm, have new tattoos or branding, or may be performing work inappropriate for their age.
“Human trafficking is one of the most underreported crimes in our state and across the United States,” continued Stuart. “By increasing awareness, reporting will become more prevalent and lead to justice for the victims of human trafficking.”
For more information or to report instances of human trafficking, visit https://humantraffickinghotline.org/state/illinois or call the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 1-888-373-7888.