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052015CM0953CHICAGO – A national organization whose mission is to help put a stop to modern day slavery in the United States will get help from the state as it works to fight human trafficking. A measure sponsored in the Illinois Senate by State Senator Patricia Van Pelt (D-Chicago) was recently signed into law that will help promote the National Human Trafficking Resource Center’s hotline, designed to directly help victims of this horrible crime.

Senate Bill 43 will require the Illinois Department of Human Services and Illinois Department of Transportation to promote public awareness of the national human trafficking hotline, including displaying signs in high risk areas, such as truck stops, bus stations, train stations, airports and rest stops. The initiative will ensure more individuals have access to the hotline number and are also able to receive the help and resources they most need.

"I came to the Legislature to help restore lives and create a more just society. Senate Bill 43 helps move us toward that goal,” Van Pelt said. “By providing the victims of human trafficking this vital resource, we are helping to stop modern day slavery in our nation and working to rebuild shattered lives."

According to the National Human Trafficking Resource Center, the hotline has fielded over 85,000 calls since 2007, resulting in uncovering over 39,000 victims of human trafficking. Many of those cases are related to the underground sex trade but also include forced labor. A vast majority of the victims of human trafficking are women. Since beginning of 2015, the hotline has received over 5,200 calls.

Victims of human trafficking are encouraged to call the hotline at 1-888-373-7888. The hotline is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. All calls are confidential. Online resources are also available at the National Human Trafficking Resource Center’s website, traffickingresourcecenter.org.