There is a large gap in resources to fight human trafficking on the state versus the federal level, even though Illinois generates the fifth-highest number of calls to the National Human Trafficking hotline. Specialized resources are very much needed for victims in Illinois, said Daria Mueller, an advocate for the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless.
For victims prosecuted in state courts, the resources to help women and children once they leave prostitution are minimal or non-existent in every community in this state, according to End Demand, a statewide initiative to combat human trafficking in Illinois. Kristin Claes, from the Chicago Alliance Against Sexual Exploitation, said the alliance is “in the process of meeting with lawmakers to gain support and funding” for local specialized services, including a safe home and drop-in center that provides mentoring, support groups, legal advocacy and employment assistance for victims of trafficking in Illinois.
Once all victims are given access to the same specialized services across the board, “we can begin to change more lives in a significant way,” said Mueller.
Learn more at Shadan Kapri’s Northwestern University Medill Reports article: Human trafficking victims get more protection and services in federal court than in state court.