United States: Illinois Passes Law to Aid Victims of Sex Trafficking
Wednesday, August 17, 2011 3:55 PM

In the U.S. state of Illinois, Governor Pat Quinn signed the Justice for Victims of Sex Trafficking Crimes Act into law in August, 2011. The new law, taking effect January 1, 2012, will allow victims of sex trafficking charged with prostitution to petition to have their prostitution charges expunged from their record.  While talking about the importance of the new law, Ohio State Senator Toi Hutchinson, one of the sponsors of the bill, stated that “it makes sure that the judicial system has a mechanism to ensure that a person who has been the victim of a crime is not automatically considered a criminal.”


The support for the law came with a campaign aimed at holding ‘johns’ and pimps legally accountable for trafficking, rather than the victims.  By allowing victims to expunge prostitution convictions, the law will assist trafficking victims in rebuilding their lives by reducing barriers to housing, employment opportunities and education that a conviction may cause.  After signing the bill, Governor Quinn stated that, “Sex trafficking is a truly reprehensible crime that preys on the most vulnerable. Victims deserve a chance to clear their records and rebuild their lives.”


Compiled from: IL Governor Signs Law to Help Sex Trafficking Victims (17 August 2011), Feminist Majority Foundation.