August 7th, 2013 – Special Events Director, Vanessa Beck, uses her background in Education and Event Management to serve on the Traffick Free Leadership team. Vanessa’s heart was first opened to the global injustice of human trafficking while she was in Thailand on a short-term missions trip. She arrived in Chicago in December of last year and is pelased to help aid in the fight of human trafficking with Traffick Free, including our 5k Run Against Traffick on September 7th! Listen to Vanessa’s interview here.
February 27th, 2013 – Communications Director, Sarah Amidon, talks to Nancy Turner on “This is the Day” about human trafficking in Chicagoland and what Traffick Free is doing to bring an end to it. Listen here.
Twin brothers charged last year with forcing young women to perform sex acts for money in the south suburbs will be going to prison, the first people in Illinois convicted of human trafficking.
Tyrelle and Myrelle Lockett, 18, of Dolton, pleaded guilty Tuesday to Class 1 felony charges of trafficking of persons for forced labor or services, and were sentenced by Judge Frank Zelezinski to four years in prison, a release from the Cook County State’s Attorney’s office said.
Police arrested the brothers last year after an undercover operation revealed they were forcing young women, including one underage girl, to perform sex acts with men for money. As part of the operation, Cook County Sheriff’s officers met with Tyrelle Lockett at a Lansing motel after responding to an online ad… (continued)
An alleged madam regularly picked up a 16-year-old girl from her high school and drove her to a basement brothel to work until 8 or 9 p.m. a couple of days a week, authorities charged Wednesday.
Rubicela Montero forced the underage girls and other victims into prostitution and threatened them or their families with death if they quit, authorities said.
One girl called an anonymous hotline and tipped off Chicago police about the brothel in a Little Village basement apartment. Police set up a sting operation, sending in an undercover officer to pose as a client willing to pay for sex. Montero advertised in a Spanish-language newspaper, authorities said…(continued)
Twenty-year-old Oxana Rantchev left her home in Russia in 2001 for what she believed was a job as a translator in Cyprus. A few days later, she was found dead after attempting to escape the traffickers who tried to force her into prostitution.
Oxana’s story is the story of modern slavery. Around the world, millions of people are living in bondage. They labor in fields and factories under threat of violence if they try to escape. They work in homes for families that keep them virtually imprisoned. They are forced to work as prostitutes or to beg in the streets. Women, men and children of all ages are often held far from home with no money, no connections and no way to ask for help. They discover too late that they’ve entered a trap of forced labor, sexual exploitation and brutal violence. The United Nations estimates that at least 12 million people worldwide are victims of trafficking. Because they often live and work out of sight, that number is almost certainly too low. More than half of all victims of forced labor are women and girls, compelled into servitude as domestics or sweatshop workers or, like Oxana, forced into prostitution. They face not only the loss of their freedom but also sexual assaults and physical abuses.
To some, human trafficking may seem like a problem limited to other parts of the world. In fact, it occurs in every country, including the United States, and we have a responsibility to fight it just as others do… (continued)
Human Trafficking in Illinois Fact Sheet (download)