“People are being trafficked across Illinois without their consent, and we need to do more to prevent it,” Halpin said. “I’m committed foremost to keeping our community safe, so the threat of human trafficking cannot be allowed to continue.”
Halpin is calling attention to human trafficking during Human Trafficking Awareness month, and in response to the growing problem affecting Illinoisans. 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.
Halpin has already taken steps to combat the problem with his support of Senate Bill 1890, a new law that is now effective, which 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.
“A safer Illinois is a stronger Illinois. Our kids do not deserve to grow up in a place where there is even a remote possibility that they will face this danger,” Halpin said. “We have taken several steps to end the existence of human trafficking in Illinois, but there is much more work to be done, and I will continue to work for a more secure a future without these terrible crimes.”