This month marks Human trafficking Prevention Month. The FBI in Springfield wants Illinoisans to be aware that there are more than 1700 pending FBI Cases of human trafficking as of January 5, 2022. Human trafficking involves the use of force, fraud, or coercion to obtain some type of labor or commercial sex act.
The FBI investigates all forms of human trafficking despite age or nationality. 95% of the FBI’s human trafficking cases involve sex trafficking and the remainder involve labor trafficking. Labor trafficking may involve a greater number of victims. In 2021 the FBI initiated 604 human trafficking investigation, leading to over 786 arrests.
The FBI says there are many warning signs of human trafficking. Victims work in the same place they live, they usually have poor living conditions, they let someone else speak for them. Victims are often not in possession of their own travel or immigration documents, and there are locks on the outside of doors where they live. Other warning signs to be aware of are victims being constantly watched and guarded, paying their boss for food, clothing, and rent, victims are lied to about the work they are to perform, and victims are subjected to debt bondage in which traffickers demand labor to repay debt.
If you wish to report an incident of human trafficking or suspected human trafficking, call 217-522-9675.