Bill Creates Task Force to Combat Human Trafficking

Springfield, IL… The State of Illinois has taken an important step forward in the fight against human trafficking. A new law sponsored by State Representative Sheri Jesiel (R-Winthrop Harbor) creates the Illinois Human Trafficking Task Force to study the issue.

House Bill 2822 stipulates that the task force examine the traumatic impact that human-trafficking is having in Illinois and offer solutions by June of next year as to how the state of Illinois can counter this horrible crime. The task force will develop a plan to address human trafficking through increased data sharing, establishing policies to work with non-profit groups, increasing public awareness, and evaluating methods to protect the rights of victims and promote their safety. It will consist of members of the General Assembly as well as a representative from the Chicago Regional Human Trafficking Task Force and the Director of the State Police.

“This so-called ‘modern slavery’ is unacceptably prevalent in Illinois and is irreparably harming the lives of our citizens,” Rep. Jesiel said. “These are daughters, sons and even parents who live in our own communities.  Even though we rarely hear about it, we need to draw attention to this growing problem to reduce and ultimately eliminate the exploitation of very real people. The task force will serve to find ways to rescue victims and prevent the crime.”

Internationally human trafficking is a multi-billion dollar industry with millions of victims and their families impacted each year. More locally, Chicago is seen as a national hub for human trafficking, given its role as a major convention city.

Governor Rauner signed HB 2822 in to law over the weekend. Appointments to the 14 member task force are expected soon.