Responding to Child Victims of Human Trafficking - Illinois

Date: December 2018

State Agency Responsibilities

Citation: Comp. Stat. Ch. 720, § 5/11-14

Pursuant to the provisions of 705 ILCS 405/2-6, a law enforcement officer who takes a person younger than age 18 into custody shall immediately report an allegation of a violation of 720 ILCS 5/10-9 to the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) State Central Register. The department shall commence an initial investigation into child abuse or child neglect within 24 hours pursuant to Section 7.4 (325 ILCS 5/7.4) of the Abused and Neglected Child Reporting Act.

Training Requirement

This issue is not addressed in the statutes and regulations reviewed.

Diversion From Prosecution

Citation: Comp. Stat. Ch. 720, § 5/11-14

It is an affirmative defense to a charge of engaging in prostitution that the accused engaged in or performed prostitution as a result of being a victim of involuntary servitude or trafficking in persons.

If it is determined, after a reasonable detention for investigative purposes, that a person suspected of or charged with a violation of this section is a person younger than age 18, that person shall be immune from prosecution for a prostitution offense and shall be subject to the temporary protective custody provisions of sections 2-5 (705 ILCS 405/2-5) and 2-6 (705 ILCS 405/2-6) of the Juvenile Court Act.

Services and Supports for Victims

Citation: Comp. Stat. Ch. 720, § 5/11-14

Because of their histories of trauma, youth in the care of DCFS are particularly vulnerable to sex traffickers. Sex traffickers often target child care facilities licensed by DCFS to recruit their victims. Foster children who are victims of sex trafficking present unique treatment needs that existing treatment programs are not always able to address. DCFS needs to develop a comprehensive strategy and continuum of care to treat foster children who are identified as victims of sex trafficking.

No later than July 1, 2019, DCFS shall enter into contracts with public or private agencies or shall complete development for specialized placements for youth in the care of DCFS who are victims of sex trafficking. Such specialized placements may include, but not be limited to, licensed foster homes, group homes, residential facilities, and secure residential facilities that specialize in providing treatment to children who are victims of sex trafficking.

Support for Anti-Trafficking Efforts

Citation: Comp. Stat. Ch. 730, § 5/5-9-1.21

Effective July 1, 2019: A Specialized Services for Survivors of Human Trafficking Fund is created in the State treasury. Money deposited into the fund under this section shall be available for the Department of Human Services. The department shall use these funds to make grants to nongovernmental organizations to provide specialized, trauma-informed services specifically designed to address the priority service needs associated with prostitution and human trafficking. Priority services include, but are not limited to, community-based drop-in centers, emergency housing, and long-term safe homes. The department shall consult with prostitution and human trafficking advocates, survivors, and service providers to identify priority service needs in their respective communities.