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New Illinois Law On Human Trafficking Takes Effect

Human trafficking knows no boundaries. It can include people from foreign countries as well as U.S. citizens.

There's a new Illinois law intended to help victims of human trafficking. It requires certain businesses post information and a hotline number for suspected cases. It's designed to increase the awareness of resources to help victims.

The National Human Trafficking Resource Center, that runs the hotline says there were 122 human trafficking cases in Illinois reported last year.

"Illinois is a hot spot for potential human trafficking because of the intersecting interstates all through the Chicago-land area," said Carol Merna, executive director of the Center for the Prevention of Abuse in Peoria. "It's modern-day slavery."

American girls who run away from home are more likely to become part of the sex trade.

"It's every walk of life and just about every age group," Merna said. "I think it's one-in-six of every runaway that's reported has actually become a victim of human trafficking, usually in the sex trade."

Locations required to post the hotline number include truck stops, airports, strip clubs, liquor stores and hospital emergency rooms.

The Illinois Attorney General's office filed a lawsuit late last year against three employment agencies and two Chinese restaurants in the Chicago area for labor violations related to human trafficking.

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