Madigan and 46 other attorneys general sent a letter Tuesday to
ranking U.S. House and Senate members, urging funding for the
programs under the act that are critical to fighting the growing
problem of human trafficking and slavery.
Madigan and the attorneys general said funding programs
established under the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization
Act will help protect minors who become victims of trafficking,
provide prosecutors with more effective tools for prosecuting
offenders and fund task forces across the country waging the fight
against human trafficking.
"Human trafficking is a sickening reality for innocent children
in Illinois and across the country," Madigan said. "Expanding
resources to combat this horrific crime and to allow its young
victims to recover and rebuild their lives is critical."
Madigan has fought to increase protections for human trafficking
victims in Illinois. A new law crafted by her office and state Sen.
William Delgado will take effect n January to allow victims who were
branded by their trafficker to be reimbursed through the Illinois
Crime Victims Compensation Fund for the cost of removing the
The new law was passed in response to growing reports of
traffickers forcibly tattooing their victims as a brand to serve as
a sign of ownership. Removing the brand is seen as a critical step
to help victims recover and rebuild their lives.
The law adds branding to the list of expenses covered by the
Illinois Crime Victims Compensation Act and requires the victim to
seek removal of the tattoo with an authorized or licensed tattoo
Human trafficking is the fastest growing criminal industry in the
world, generating roughly $32 billion each year. According to a
study that analyzed U.S. Department of Justice human trafficking
task force cases, 83 percent of sex trafficking victims identified
in the United States were U.S. citizens. The average age that U.S.
children are first victimized in the commercial sex industry ranges
from 12 to 14.
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Many victims are forced to work in prostitution or other areas of
the sex industry. Trafficking also occurs in forms of labor
exploitation, including domestic servitude, restaurant work,
janitorial work, sweatshop factory work and migrant agricultural
Victims often experience severe trauma that requires intensive
therapy. Due to the complexity and resource-intensive nature of
human trafficking cases, law enforcement and victim services in the
U.S. are in tremendous need of funding to support the fight against
Joining Madigan in sending the letter were attorneys general from
Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado,
Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Guam, Hawaii, Idaho,
Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland,
Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana,
Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, North
Dakota, Northern Mariana Islands, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode
Island, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, the Virgin
Islands, Washington, Wisconsin and Wyoming.
[Text from file received from the office of
Illinois Attorney General Lisa