Businesses to comply with anti-human trafficking public act

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ILLINOIS - The Illinois Sheriffs' Association is reminding citizens of a new public act designed to help victims of human trafficking throughout the state.

According to a news release from Illinois Sheriffs' Association Executive Director Greg Sullivan, certain businesses and establishments will be required to post a notice informing citizens and victims of human trafficking of telephone hotline numbers for individuals to seek help or report unlawful activity.

A copy of the notice may be found here.  The following businesses must post the notice:

- Establishments where alcohol is the principal business, primary to the sale of food
- Adult entertainment facilities
- Primary airports
- Intercity passenger rail or light rail stations
- Bus stations
- Truck stops
- Emergency rooms
- Urgent care centers
- Farm labor contractors
- Privately-operated job recruitment centers

The notice must be placed in a noticeable locations, in clear view of the public and employees, near the entrance of the building, and must make the notice available in English, Spanish, and in one other language that is the most widely spoken language in the county.  Businesses that fail to comply with this public act face a $500 fine for the first offense, and a $1,000 fine for each subsequent offense.

As of Monday afternoon, copies of the flyer were posted in English and Spanish at the St. Mary's Hospital Emergency Room in Decatur.

Sgt. S. E. Flannery with the Macon County Sheriff's Department said human trafficking can occur in smaller cities in Central Illinois.

"Macon County actually is part of a circuit of people that travel with prostitution rings, which can lead to human trafficking," Flannery said. "We had one person that was arrested on it. He was acquitted by the jury ... so there has been one case of it, but I was surprised to learn that it's more common than even what I thought."

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