Human Anti-Trafficking Series-Agency Collaboration

Chicago is identified as a national hub for human trafficking. Its airports and major interstates offer strategic entry points for traffickers and their victims. The city’s major events and attractions make it a tourist destination where demand is high, enabling traffickers to exploit vulnerable men, women and children.

In April and October of 2011, the Illinois Rescue and Restore Coalition and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Administration for Children and Families, Region V Chicago, hosted its first and second in a series of “Lunch and Learns” on Anti-Trafficking in Persons.  The Immediate Office of the Regional Administrator sponsored the event to educate regional HHS operating divisions’ employees, stakeholders and community organizations about human trafficking and to increase an agency-wide response and public awareness to this form of modern day slavery.

Two guest panelists with expertise on human trafficking presented valuable information about the cause and effects of human trafficking in males and females who are victimized by labor, sex and commercial traffickers. They also provided basic information along with knowledge of the critical signs to look for and how to help victims of trafficking that you may encounter.

In addition, a display on human trafficking, runaway and homeless youth, and domestic violence offered fact sheets, posters, DVDs and other materials about trafficking and how to help victims of trafficking.

Although there is much more work to be done to help combat human trafficking, this “Lunch and Learn” series is one way to reach the goal of putting an end to this horrific epidemic.