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Human Trafficking: What Is It?

On Behalf of | Apr 20, 2015 | Criminal Defense |

The state of Illinois and federal government are cracking down on human trafficking. In particular, Illinois is prosecuting defendants for recruiting, harboring, moving or obtaining a person, by force, fraud or coercion, for the purposes of involuntary servitude, debt bondage or sexual exploitation.

In February 7, 2012, Cook County Sheriff announced the results of the second “National Day of John Arrests” that covered a 10-day period and involved 20 U.S. law enforcement agencies in 8 states. A total of 314 sex buyers also known as “Johns” were arrested and charged including 46 in Chicago and 6 in Aurora, Illinois. Between January 1, 2011 and December 31, 2011, there were 38 confirmed cases included 30 cases of sex trafficking, 7 cases of labor trafficking, and one unspecified case. Twenty-five of the 38 cases were in Chicago.

Currently, Illinois prosecutes defendants for involuntary servitude, sexual servitude of a minor, and trafficking of persons for forced labor and services. The law mandates restitution and provides that the Illinois Attorney General, in cooperation with the Administrative Office of the Illinois Courts, State’s Attorneys, Circuit Court officials, the Dept. of Human Services, and the Dept. of Public Aid, must ensure that victims of trafficking or involuntary servitude are referred to appropriate social services, Federal and State public benefits programs, victim protection services and immigration assistance services.

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