Human trafficking has a presence in Central Illinois. It may be shadowy, perhaps elusive, but it is undoubtedly there.

Pekin and Peoria have passed city ordinances to curtail it, and recently the state has passed legislation to close loopholes that make trafficking easier, and mandate that hospitality professionals are trained to spot the signs.

The Tazewell County Health Department is getting on board as well.

What the department is calling a “lunch & learn” will take place on Friday, July 19 at the Health Department — 21306 IL Rt. 9 — in Tremont from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Sara Sefried, the Director of Human Trafficking Services at the Center for Prevention of Abuse, spoke to why it’s important for healthcare professionals to understand the signs of human trafficking in a statement, released through the health department. 

“Those working in the healthcare sector are likely to come into contact with this covert crime and play a critical role in identifying and responding to victims.  However, most personnel are not familiar with the signs or human trafficking, relevant laws or appropriate response,” said Sefried.

This informational session will provide the necessary tools to identify potential victims and become familiar with the resources available, according to the news release.

The workshop has a waiting list. For more information contact Jill McClintock at