Reflections from working in the HTRL
The Human Trafficking Research Lab at Millikin University has been working on a project that is expected to shine the light on human trafficking adjudication in the region of central Illinois. For the past three semesters my duty working in that lab was to analyze arrest data from counties assigned to detect crimes that could have been charged as human trafficking or fall under trafficking category. The past three semesters I analyzed three counties Morgan County, Macon County, and Rock island County. These three counties were not any different to each other. Most offenses committed that could fall under the category of human trafficking were from prostitution, child pornography, and aggravated criminal sexual abuse. This research process involved using a search toolbar to run all the coded crimes and record them into an excel document. As expected in these three counties Morgan only less than one percent of the arrests made were labeled human trafficking while the other 99 percent were identified as different crimes. This lack of human trafficking crime identification might prevent victims of human trafficking to come forward. They are a lot flaws in the system as mentioned earlier, having lower statutes that punish other crimes instead of trafficking result into crimes going unpunished. This research does a great job to help solve the issue by tracking those cases and making sure they were properly identified.
Aimable Ngabo Millikin University Class of 2022