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Press Release

U.S. Attorney’s Office Observes National Human Trafficking Prevention Month

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of Illinois

CHICAGO – The United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Illinois today commemorated National Human Trafficking Prevention Month and renewed its commitment to prosecuting human traffickers, protecting victims, and empowering survivors.

Every year since 2010, the President of the United States has proclaimed January as “National Human Trafficking Prevention Month,” reaffirming our nation’s commitment to combatting human trafficking in all its forms.  The U.S. Attorney’s Office joins in this commitment and continues to prioritize combatting forced labor, domestic servitude, and sex trafficking of children and adults throughout northern Illinois.  As part of these efforts, the office works in partnership with the Cook County Human Trafficking Task Force and the Lake County Human Trafficking Task Force, taking a multidisciplinary approach to prevention and prosecution.

“Human trafficking is a brutal crime and its impact on victims is immeasurable. Our office will continue to work closely with federal, state, and local law enforcement, as well as the remarkable men and women who work with victims, to bring traffickers to justice. Those who exploit other human beings for personal gain must be held accountable.” 

-Morris Pasqual, Acting United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois.

“The Department of Justice launched our National Strategy to Combat Human Trafficking to bring the full force of the Department to the fight against human trafficking,” said Attorney General Merrick B. Garland.  “Since then, we’ve taken sustained steps forward to make our anti-trafficking efforts stronger than ever.  We have brought human traffickers to justice, dismantled trafficking enterprises, and empowered survivors to rebuild their lives.  I am proud of the progress the Department has made, but there is still much more work left to do.”

Human trafficking includes sex trafficking, labor trafficking, and indentured servitude.  As with many crimes of exploitation and abuse, human traffickers often prey upon members of marginalized communities and other vulnerable individuals.  Traffickers often manipulate the vulnerabilities of victims on multiple levels, first offering protection and opportunity, and then coercing victims to provide labor, services, or commercial sex through a combination of physical and sexual violence, threats of physical or psychological harm, financial or debt-related threats, threats of deportation or arrest, manipulation of substance use disorder, or withdrawal of housing security or other support.

Anyone with information about a potential human trafficking situation or a person who may be experiencing human trafficking should contact the National Human Trafficking Hotline by calling 1-888-373-7888 or texting 233733.  More information about the Justice Department’s work to combat human trafficking can be found here.

Updated January 30, 2024

Human Trafficking
Community Outreach