The Impact of the Pandemic on Human Trafficking Trainings
The Human Trafficking Research Lab began tracking human trafficking trainings in Central Illinois in 2019 and we wrote this research brief to update a previous brief from 2020. The pandemic had a large impact on these trainings and this research brief aims to examine how the pandemic impacted human trafficking training in Central Illinois. In 2020, the Central Illinois Human Trafficking Task Force completed 52 different trainings. This was a 43% decrease from 2019 when 91 trainings were conducted.
We also saw a increase in virtual trainings in 2020 when 75% (39) of the trainings were virtual and only 25% (13) were in-person. A total of 1,134 individuals from a variety of different organizations were trained for a cumulative number of 80.25 hours. In 2021, the Central Illinois Human Trafficking Task Force completed 60 different trainings, an increased of 15% from 2020. Of these trainings 58% (35) were virtual and 41% (25) were in person, indicating a decrease in virtual trainings from 2020. In 2021, a total of 3,047 individuals were trained for a total of 55.8 hours.
The attached map shows the dispersion of trainings across Central Illinois counties. The most frequent locations for said trainings were Rock Island, Peoria, and Decatur. The different training target groups are displayed by color in the legend (1-Law Enforcement, 2- Victims Services, 3- Community Members, 4– Education, 5- Medical Professionals, 6 - Other, and 7-Multi-disciplinary).