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WNIJ's summary of news items around our state.

New IL Law Holds Businesses Accountable For Human Trafficking Awareness

Flickr user / Milica Sekulic "Mobile Phone" (CC BY 2.0)

A new Illinois law requires certain businesses post a human trafficking hotline number in their establishment.


It's designed to increase the awareness of resources to help victims.

Carol Merna is the executive director of the Center for the Prevention of Abuse, located in Peoria.

She says Illinois is a "hot spot" for human trafficking. Many victims of what has been called “modern-day slavery” are U.S. citizens.

"It's every walk of life and just about every age group. I think it's one-in-six of every runaway that's reported has actually become a victim of human trafficking, usually in the sex trade,” Merna said.

The law requires the hotline number be prominently posted at places truck stops, airports, liquor stores and strip clubs.

The Illinois Attorney General's office filed a lawsuit late last year against three employment agencies and two Chinese restaurants in the Chicago area for labor violations related to human trafficking. 

A national center that runs the hotline says there were 122 cases of human trafficking in Illinois reported last year.

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