In observation of National Human Trafficking Awareness Day, which was Friday, U.S. Rep. Adam Kinzinger, R-Channahon, and U.S. Rep. Robin Kelly, D-Kankakee, have reintroduced House Resolution 467, the Reducing the Demand for Human Trafficking Act, for the 116th Congress.
This legislation amends the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000 to encourage a more victim-centered approach to combat human trafficking, according to a news release from Kinzinger.
Illinois ranks among the highest in trafficking rates across the country.
Sex traffickers sell their victims multiple times a day, and these victims often are children. There are laws in place to help seek out and provide protections for trafficking victims, but House Resolution 467 would help by reducing the demand for human trafficking by seeking out those who buy or solicit these services and hold them accountable for their crimes.
“[The] attorney general shall provide affirmative preferences to applicants for grant funding under this paragraph whose grant application includes an attestation that grant funds awarded to a state or local law enforcement agency will be used in part to assist in strengthening efforts to reduce demand for human trafficking through the investigation and prosecution of persons who solicit or purchase commercial sex,” according to the amendment.
“It’s hard to imagine this modern-day slavery is happening here at home, but it is,” Kinzinger said in a statement. “Human trafficking is a heinous crime, and it’s often hidden in plain sight.
“In my district, the city of Rockford ranks second in highest cases of trafficking in the state, and the daily numbers are devastating and deeply disturbing. ... By cutting off the demand, we can stop the supply, and take one more step toward ending human trafficking for good.”