Yingling Brings Attention to Human Trafficking Awareness Month

01/30/2020
ROUND LAKE BEACH, Ill. – Drawing attention to the ever present issue of human trafficking, state Rep. Sam Yingling, D-Grayslake, is shining a spotlight on Human Trafficking Awareness Month, which is observed in January.

“Human trafficking is a devastating crime that can happen to anyone regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, or age, but it’s important to recognize that over a quarter of human trafficking victims nationwide are children,” Yingling said. “This is an issue that needs the full attention of lawmakers and community leaders, and I will do everything I can to raise awareness and help bring justice to survivors.”

The International Labor Organization estimates that 40.3 million people are trapped in human trafficking globally – 71% of whom are women and girls and 25% are children. In Illinois, almost 200 cases of human trafficking were reported in 2017, and Human Trafficking Task Force Report identified that at least 150 of those cases involved sex trafficking.

Yingling has stood as a strong advocate for survivors of human trafficking. He co-sponsored Senate Bill 1890, which made extensive changes to crack down on human trafficking by extending the statute of limitations on both criminal and civil cases up to 25 years, providing further training for all law enforcement officers on identifying and investigating suspected human trafficking situations, and subjecting businesses that benefit from human trafficking and similar crimes to new fines of up to $100,000. This legislation was signed into law by Governor Pritzker.

“Learning to recognize the signs of human trafficking saves lives,” Yingling said. “I am proud to have participated in passing legislation to address this disgusting crime, and bring comprehensive reform to our laws that crack down on abusers benefiting from these heinous crimes.”

Knowing how to spot the signs of human trafficking can save lives. Learn more about how you can help here: https://www.state.gov/15-ways-you-can-help-fight-human-trafficking/