Willis Bill Cracking Down on Human Trafficking Becomes Law
07/11/2019NORTHLAKE, Ill. – Survivors of human trafficking will be empowered to come forward, police will have more tools to disrupt labor and sexual exploitation, and those who profit from exploitation will face tougher penalties under a new law backed by state Rep. Kathy Willis, D-Northlake.
“Human trafficking continues to be a pervasive crime that thrives in the shadows of our society,” Willis said. “This newest law takes proactive steps to combat trafficking head on by ensuring that law enforcement has the resources they need to stop this crime and the measure further cracks down on businesses that profit from trafficking.”
Willis’ Senate Bill 1890 bolsters penalties on businesses that knowingly benefit from human trafficking, sex trade activities and involuntary servitude by increasing fines up to $100,000. Additionally, Willis’ legislation extends the statute of limitations from three to 25 years, ensuring survivors have more time to come forward and giving law enforcement more time to file charges. Finally, the law now asks that all police officers take training courses for identifying and handling human trafficking. The legislation received bipartisan support and was recently signed into law by Gov. J.B. Pritzker.
In 2017 alone, the National Human Trafficking Hotline identified 276 victims, 149 people who proactively engaged in trafficking and discovered more than 50 businesses that also participated in human trafficking.
“This measure is a first step toward preventing human trafficking and it will help shine a light on people and businesses that engage in this crime,” Willis said. “It is my hope we can build from the bipartisan momentum that helped enact this law to further strengthening policies that will prevent human trafficking going forward.”
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