Governor Bruce Rauner signed a bill August 21 sponsored by State Sen. Karen McConnaughay (R-St. Charles) to take action in combatting human trafficking. This bill protects victims who often have language barriers, emotional challenges or economic hardships by creating a task force to look at how the State of Illinois can partner with agencies across the state to counter these egregious offenses of human exploitation.
“Human trafficking is modern day slavery where people are put into forced labor which all too often involves forced sexual activity,” said Governor Rauner. “Human trafficking predators prey on vulnerable people and we have to take action to help protect them, because no one should endure this pain. Signing this bill and creating this Task Force is an important step in combatting this issue head on.”
HB 2822 helps to address the growing problem of human trafficking across Illinois. It establishes a human trafficking task force comprised of legislators, members of the Chicago Regional Human Trafficking Task Force and the Director of the Illinois State Police. The Department of Children and Family Services will also provide the Task Force with administrative and other support.
“Modern slavery is a reality — and today, it takes the form of sexual exploitation,” said Senator McConnaughay. “In the past nine years, the National Human Trafficking Resource Center has identified nearly 30,000 trafficking victims. Those numbers are absolutely unacceptable in our communities. My goal in creating this Task Force is to take an active step toward ending the cycle of sexual abuse of children and adults across the state.”
“Human trafficking is all too pervasive, even in Illinois, but it largely goes unnoticed despite the severe impact of the crime,” said Representative Sheri Jesiel (R–Winthrop Harbor). “I am proud of this legislation that will help bring this difficult issue of human trafficking to light so we can fight it and effectively support those impacted, ultimately rescuing many more victims from exploitation.”
The Task Force shall submit a report with its findings and recommendations to the Governor and the General Assembly on or before June 30, 2017.