Thursday, August 9, 2012

Illinois' Anti-Trafficking Laws Among Best in Nation

Sex traffickers in Illinois should be warned: our state’s laws are improving each year and prosecutors are doing more to hold traffickers accountable for the harm they cause.

This week, Polaris Project announced their 2012 rating of U.S. human trafficking laws, state by state. Again, Illinois has become a leader on this list and is considered a Tier 1 state, which means our “State has passed significant laws to combat human trafficking, and should continue to take steps to improve and implement its laws.” Read the full report here.

CAASE is proud that our End Demand Illinois campaign has played a vital role in passing three anti-trafficking laws in our state in the past three years. Polaris Project is a partner on the EDI campaign and they have been important contributors to our policy committee, helping to shape new laws to hold traffickers accountable.

Just this past Saturday, Governor Pat Quinn signed our latest End Demand Illinois bill. Public Act 97-0897 reforms our state’s trafficking code to include tactics like “plans or schemes” that traffickers use to ensnare victims. It also closes a loophole so that fines collected from johns can be funneled into services for survivors of the sex trade. Learn more about the new law here.

Leeanna Majors (pictured above) is a survivor of sex trafficking and advocates with EDI campaign partner Chicago Coalition for the Homeless. She testified on behalf of the bill. "The bill is important so that women can be empowered to make a change in their lives, and the traffickers can be held accountable,” Majors said. “Survivors won’t need to show bruises to prove they were trafficked,” she added. Leeanna and CAASE’s Policy and Advocacy Director Lynne Johnson were interviewed on FOX Chicago about the law. Watch the full story here.

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