Illinois has taken a few steps to make it harder for human traffickers to operate inside state lines.
Governor Bruce Rauner signed two new bills this week aimed at combating human trafficking in Illinois. The first, known as SB43, will increase public awareness of a national human trafficking hotline. Warning signs and information about the national hotline will be placed at areas deemed “high-risk” for human trafficking, like truck stops, rest areas, bus stations train stations, airports and other similar areas.
Kylla Lanier, Deputy Director of Truckers Against Trafficking, said the posting of these signs at high risk areas is a great way for ordinary citizens to help prevent human trafficking.
“We have long since said that the trucking and transportation industries can play a critical role in combating human trafficking,” said Lanier.“The posting of the national hotline at ports of entry, at truck stops, bus stations, train stations and the like are a great way to raise awareness about the help that is out there.”
The other bill signed by Rauner helps protects the victims of human trafficking. Many of the victims of human trafficking are also forced into the sex trade, and the new law states that anyone charged with prostitution can have the charges dropped if they can prove the act was the result of involuntary servitude.
“Imagine living in a dark and heart-breaking world that traps you in a terrible cycle you did not choose, and then you are charged as a criminal, adding insult to injury,” said John Mulroe, Senator D-Chicago, who sponsored the bill. “I want to make sure that we are helping these people, not incarcerating them.”
Both of the laws will go into effect on January 1, 2016.
Related source: QC Times, Land Line Magazine