Shining A Light On Cook County’s Major Human Trafficking Problem

sex trafficking superbowl
In this photo made Thursday, Jan. 27, 2011, anti-sex trade advocate Jackie Edmonds holds anti-trafficking awareness coasters that her group will ask restaurants to use near the Super Bowl site in Arlington, Texas. Cities that host the big game often attract a bustling sex trade, and this year Texas authorities and advocacy groups are stepping up their anti-prostitution efforts, especially where young girls are concerned. LM Otero/AP
sex trafficking superbowl
In this photo made Thursday, Jan. 27, 2011, anti-sex trade advocate Jackie Edmonds holds anti-trafficking awareness coasters that her group will ask restaurants to use near the Super Bowl site in Arlington, Texas. Cities that host the big game often attract a bustling sex trade, and this year Texas authorities and advocacy groups are stepping up their anti-prostitution efforts, especially where young girls are concerned. LM Otero/AP

Shining A Light On Cook County’s Major Human Trafficking Problem

Last October, the FBI arrested more than 120 people—at least two in Illinois—in a nationwide human trafficking sting, rescuing dozens of victims.

Just a few months earlier, authorities in Chicago broke up an international sex trafficking ring operating in businesses in 11 states. Yet people don’t necessarily think of the Midwest as fertile ground for human trafficking.

But areas like Cook County, with its population density, infrastructure and robust convention and tourism business, are ideal places for traffickers to set up shop. 

Morning Shift picks apart the problem of human trafficking—from sex trafficking of minors to forced farm labor—in places like Kansas City, St. Louis an here in Chicago. Plus: A look into the third part of the three-part series, “Human Trafficking in the Midwest,” which focuses on sex trafficking and forced labor specificaly in Cook County.

GUEST: 

Mark Guarino, journalist