Yesterday U.S. Sen. Kirk (R-Ill.) and Cook County State’s Attorney Alvarez acknowledged the need for the formation of a local and federal partnership to help put an end to all forms of sex trafficking, their latest efforts will be to stop online websites from putting up online sex ads. One of their targeted online sites is Backpage.com and its "adult services" section that is notorious for advertising on behalf of child sex trafficking.
U.S. Sen. Kirk will introduce this week a bipartisan federal legislation, The Stop Advertising Victims of Exploitation (SAVE) Act which will allow the federal government to prosecute online websites that facilitates the victimization of children through commercial advertising. If passed State’s Attorney Alvarez would be able to shut down such sites and if the owners of the site are convicted they could get up to five years in prison.
On August 20, 2010 Governor Quinn signed the Illinois Safe Children Act into law. The new law protected children in Illinois from being forced into the sex trade and gave law enforcement additional tools to fight the human-trafficking groups that exploit them. Since its passage, State’s Attorney Alvarez has put into place an Human Trafficking Initiative and has formed an Human Trafficking Unit, which is staffed by specially trained prosecutors, investigators and victim specialists. The State's Attorney's office has charged 93 defendants with trafficking and related laws at the state level. Illinois ranks 5th in the nation when it comes to reports of potential human trafficking.