CHICAGO – To help develop policies and best practices for combatting human trafficking in Illinois, state Rep. Kam Buckner, D-Chicago, has been appointed to the newly created Human Trafficking Task Force.
“Illinois is a national and international crossroads for goods and transportation. Unfortunately, that also makes Illinois a crossroads for human trafficking,” Buckner said. “As a member of the Human Trafficking Task Force, I will work to improve our response to human trafficking and ensure that the resources necessary for human trafficking prevention and survivor support are available.”
Buckner sponsored Senate Bill 1599, recently signed into law by Gov. J.B. Pritzker, to create the Human Trafficking Task Force. The task force will work to improve data sharing and collection between government agencies about human trafficking and study how the state can work with private and non-profit entities to prevent human trafficking and provide assistance to survivors. The task force will also identify best practices for reducing disparities in the treatment of missing persons cases based on gender and race.
The creation of the Human Trafficking Task Force builds on previous pair of measures supported by Buckner to address human trafficking in Illinois. In 2019 Buckner supported a law, Senate Bill 1890, to lengthen the civil and criminal statute of limitations on human trafficking and crack down on businesses that profit from sexual exploitation and involuntary servitude of women and children. The same year Buckner also supported a law, House Bill 3101, to require hotel and motel employees to receive training to recognize human trafficking and alert authorities.
“Illinois has made great strides towards building a survivor-centered, trauma-informed response to human trafficking. However, there is more we must do to ensure equal justice for survivors and to prevent human trafficking altogether. ” Buckner said. “I look forward to working with my colleagues to improve our understanding of the depth of human trafficking in our state and finding new ways to reduce and prevent human trafficking in Illinois.”