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Billboards aim to reduce human trafficking in Illinois

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CHICAGO (AP) _ A new advertising campaign is aiming to reduce human trafficking in Illinois and help victims reach out for help.

Illinois Lieutenant Gov. Evelyn Sanguinetti helped unveil the campaign Monday. It will include 20 digital billboards across Chicago and at O’Hare International Airport that provide information about what advocates say is a form of “modern-day slavery.”

The National Human Trafficking Hotline reports there were 198 cases reported to the hotline from Illinois in 2016. That’s a 64 percent increase over 2015.

The billboards will remain up for four weeks through a partnership with Polaris and Clear Channel Outdoor Americas.

Polaris National Hotlines Director Caroline Diemar says “Illinois’s awareness campaign is critical to ensuring survivors of sex and labor trafficking get the help they need.”