SPRINGFIELD – On Wednesday, legislation co-sponsored by State Representative Mark Batinick (R-Plainfield) to combat human trafficking in Illinois passed the House of Representatives. House Bill 4593 was introduced by Rep. Chris Bos (R-Lake Zurich) to prevent sexual predators from claiming they did not know the person they solicited for sex was underage or had an intellectual disability.
“I spoke with Rep. Bos about human trafficking in our state on my radio show, Policy Nuance, back in October,” said Rep. Batinick. “This is a serious issue affecting vulnerable populations and I am proud to co-sponsor this legislation to place responsibility on perpetrators, not victims, of sexual abuse.”
House Bill 4593 passed the House with bipartisan support and no opposition. According to Homeland Security, human trafficking involves the use of force, fraud, or coercion to obtain some type of labor or commercial sex act. According to the 2018 Illinois Human Trafficking Task Force Report, 970 children were trafficked since 2011 with the average trafficked child’s age being 13.89.
Rep. Batinick is a co-sponsor of additional human trafficking-related bills introduced by Rep. Bos. These include House Bill 4402 to create the Human Trafficking Order of Protection Act, House Bill 4407 to include sexual servitude of a minor in the definition of “sex offense”, and House Bill 4592 to increase the penalties for human traffickers and abusers who target children in particularly vulnerable settings.
If you or someone you know is being forced to engage in any activity and cannot leave, call the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 1-888-373-7888 or Text “HELP,” or “INFO” to 233733.