Human Trafficking


Human trafficking is the act of recruiting, harboring, moving, or obtaining a person by force, fraud, or coercion, for the purpose of involuntary servitude, debt bondage or sexual exploitation. The goal is typically to earn a profit.

Human trafficking occurs in all areas, even northwest Illinois, and it affects people from all backgrounds.  It is considered one of the most under-reported crimes in the world.

Types of Trafficking

Occurs when a person is involved in a commercial sex act, including prostitution, sexually explicit performance or production of pornography in exchange for something of value like money, food, clothing, shelter, drugs or alcohol. 

The exploitation of a person for labor or services through force, fraud, or coercion. Labor trafficking victims often are promised an education or fake job opportunities and end up forced into domestic servitude, agricultural work, restaurant work, or factory work. 

  • The individual has been isolated from family and/or friends.
  • The individual does not have control of their passport or other important documents.
  • A would-be employer refuses to give the worker a signed contract or asks them to sign a contract in a language they can’t read.
  • A would-be employer collects fees from a potential worker for the “opportunity” to work in a particular job.
  • A friend, family member, co-worker, or student is newly showered with gifts or money or otherwise becomes involved in an overwhelming, fast-moving, and asymmetric (e.g., large difference in age or financial status) romantic relationship.
  • A friend, family member, or student is a frequent runaway and may be staying with someone who is not their parent or guardian.
  • A family member, friend, co-worker, or student is developing a relationship that seems too close with someone they know solely on social media.
  • A family member, friend, or student lives with a parent or guardian and shows signs of abuse.
  • A family member, friend, or co-worker is offered a job opportunity that seems too good to be true.
  • A family member, friend, or co-worker is recruited for an opportunity that requires them to move far away, but their recruiter or prospective employer avoids answering their questions or is reluctant to provide detailed information about the job.


If you or someone you know are in immediate danger, call 911 – they will dispatch assistance to you. 

You also can call the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 888-373-7888. If you are a victim of human trafficking and need emergency assistance, call our 24-hour crisis line at 815-235-1641

More information is available under Services for You.