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Published On: Tue, Aug 23rd, 2016

Illinois Gov Bruce Rauner signs two bills to fight human trafficking

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner used harsh language and the power of the office, to sign two bills targeting human trafficking and sexual exploitation across the state.

Gov. Rauner labeled human trafficking a form of “modern day slavery” Sunday as he signed the two bills.

Photo/Sawso.org

Photo/Sawso.org

“This is going to be a long-term battle,” Rauner said during an appearance at the Chicago Children’s Advocacy Center. “But we have got to end this horrible crime, bring justice for everyone, stop — stop the abuse of our women and people who are vulnerable.”

Rauner then immediately signed a bill designed to bring together legislators, the director of the Illinois State Police and members of the Chicago Regional Human Trafficking Task Force. They will now form a larger task force that must figure out how the state can best combat human trafficking across Illinois.

The state’s task force is expected to deliver its findings and recommendations to the governor and General Assembly by June 30.

The governor’s staff said he also signed a bill that will provide medical assistance, starting in 2018, to foreign-born victims of human trafficking, torture and other serious crimes.

Sen. Karen McConnaughay, R-St. Charles, said the National Human Trafficking Resource Center has identified nearly 30,000 human trafficking victims in the last decade.

“We can no longer deny that innocent lives are destroyed every single day,” McConnaughay said.

Cathy O’Keeffe, Executive Director of Braking Traffik, a group working to end sex trafficking in the Quad Cities, says the new legislation is a positive move forward to end sex trafficking.

” Fighting human trafficking has to be multidisciplinary. There’s not just one group that can do it, we need law enforcement, we need legislators, we need our servicing providers…” she says.

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About the Author

- Roxanne "Butter" Bracco began with the Dispatch as Pittsburgh Correspondent, but will be providing reports and insights from Washington DC, Maryland and the surrounding region. Contact Roxie aka "Butter" at [email protected] ATTN: Roxie or Butter Bracco

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