CHICAGO – To ensure that local community members are informed of the dangers and prevalence of human trafficking, state Rep. Justin Slaughter, D-Chicago, is bringing attention to Human Trafficking Awareness Month.
“Human Trafficking Awareness Month is an opportunity to emphasize to our community that this is an issue that affects all of us, and it is up to all of us to eradicate human trafficking,” said Slaughter. “By making sure that our community is adequately informed, we can do our part to ultimately create a climate where survivors are empowered and offenders are punished severely.”
Human trafficking is a global issue with an estimated 40.3 million victims, mostly comprised of women and children, worldwide. Illinois has been especially hit hard by human trafficking; the Illinois Human Trafficking Task Force ranked Illinois 11th for prevalence of human trafficking. To combat this fast growing and illicit trade, Slaughter introduced Senate Bill 1890, which provides training to law enforcement officers and employees of businesses frequented by human traffickers to recognize the warning signs of human trafficking, increase the statute of limitations on the crime to give victims more time to come forward and impose severe fines up to $100,000 on businesses that turn a blind eye to this heinous crime.
“Human trafficking is nothing more than 21st century slavery, and it is on all of us to do our part to make sure that Illinois is not seen as a haven for human trafficking and its profiteers,” said Slaughter. “I am proud of the legislation that we passed to fight human trafficking; it is a great first step to finally put an end to this unjust business.”