Rep. Keicher joins state task force to fight human trafficking

State reps. Jeff Keicher, R-Sycamore (shown), and Dan Ugaste, R-Geneva, recently were appointed to serve on the state's Warehouse Safety Standards Task Force. The group will review warehouse safety protocols, prompted by a deadly 2021 tornado at an Amazon facility in Edwardsville.

SYCAMORE – State. Rep. Jeff Keicher, R-Sycamore, was appointed this week to serve on the Illinois Human Trafficking Task Force in Springfield, according to a news release from the legislator’s office.

Keicher was appointed by House Minority Leader Tony McCombie, R-Savanna.

“The most common and prevalent way that people are exposed to human trafficking would be prostitution. So, the trafficking can take that prostitution angle where there’s sexual violence but it can also be forced servitude,” Keicher said.

“I think most people that know my family circumstance, and my cousin who was sexually abused by her stepfather, know that I’ve been a fighter for survivors of violence, and human trafficking is the ultimate culmination of that. My appointment to the human trafficking task force was, I don’t want to say a surprise but a welcome thanks for the work that I’ve been able to do so far, and I appreciate leader McCombie’s trust in me doing that.”

The Human Trafficking Task Force includes 22 regular members and four ex-officio members who serve without compensation, according to the release.

The task force’s mission is to produce policy recommendations that prevent trafficking, improve assistance for victims and educate the public about the problem to assist in prevention, according to the release.

The representatives also encouraged public use of the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 888-373-7888 to report any suspected trafficking taking place in their communities.

Keicher, who serves the 70th District, which includes portions of DeKalb, Kane and McHenry counties, filed a bill that legislators passed and Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed into law in spring 2023 that expunges crimes committed while being trafficked.

Keicher said the law helps victims of human trafficking get back to normalcy.

“What we’re finding is when people are coming out of trafficking scenarios, they are no longer able to get a job, go to school, pass a background check because of the crimes they were forced to commit while trafficked,” Keicher said.

Camden Lazenby

Camden Lazenby

Camden Lazenby covers DeKalb County news for the Daily Chronicle.