Illinois Department of Human Services Holds 6th Annual Human Trafficking Outreach Day

The Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) joined the United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan, the Salvation Army, Cook County Sheriff’s Department, the Illinois State Police and more than 100 partners statewide at the James R. Thompson Center to announce the statewide Illinois Rescue and Restore Human Trafficking Outreach Day. The event on Saturday April 23rd is the sixth of its kind to be held in Illinois and is designed to raise awareness about human trafficking and help rescue victims of this growing crime. On Saturday, April 23rd, hundreds of volunteers from across the state will canvass neighborhoods and hang posters advertising the national human trafficking hotline and will encourage the public to rescue and restore victims of human trafficking.

After drug trafficking, human trafficking is tied with the illegal arms industry as the second largest and fastest growing criminal industry in the world today. The U.S. government estimates that approximately 800,000 victims annually are trafficked across international borders worldwide and between 14,500 and 17,500 of those victims are trafficked into the United States annually for purposes of labor and commercial sexual exploitation. Victims are trafficked across international borders from such regions as Southeast Asia, Latin America, Eastern Europe, and Africa to work in labor and sex trades. Locally, the state of Illinois produces the fifth highest volume of calls to the National Human Trafficking Resource Center Hotline. Also, an estimated minimum of 16,000 to 25,000 American women and girls are victims of commercial sexual exploitation in Chicago alone every year.

Signs that may indicate a victim of human trafficking:

  • Lack identification or travel documents.
  • Have little control over his or her schedule.
  • Lack concrete short or long term plans.
  • Live and work in the same place.
  • Show signs of physical assault including: branding, tattooing, broken bones, or other signs of abuse.
  • Exhibit submissive or fearful behavior in the presence of others.
  • Lack knowledge about a given community or whereabouts.
  • Date much older, abusive, or controlling men.

If you or someone you know may suspect this illegal activity, the toll-free 24 Hour National Human Trafficking Resource Center Hotline, 1.888.3737.888, is designated to provide assistance to organizations and victims of trafficking. For more information, visit

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