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Cook County Board of Commissioners to Hold Hearing on Rising Sex Trafficking of Men and Boys

Commissioner Stanley Moore has announced that the Cook County Board of Commissioners will convene a Public Hearing in the Human Relation Committee on Wednesday, May 1, 2024, to address the pressing issue of sex trafficking targeting men and boys in the region.

This call for a hearing follows troubling statistics and emerging studies indicating a significant and overlooked crisis within our community. With 60% of Chicago’s homeless youth identifying as male, conservative estimates place the number of male victims of sex trafficking at around 2,500. These individuals are severely underserved, with almost no gender-specific services available to them.

Recent research reveals that 36% of youth aged 14-24 engaged in the sex trade are male. Despite these alarming figures, societal misunderstandings, stereotypes, and stigma often prevent these victims from being recognized and receiving the help they need. This lack of recognition extends through critical touch points, including law enforcement, healthcare providers, and social services.

“The urgent issue of trafficking and sexual exploitation of men and boys in Cook County must be addressed promptly,” said Commissioner Moore. “This hearing will seek to shed light on the deficiencies in our current system and explore viable solutions to ensure that all victims receive the support and protection they deserve.”

Currently, there is only one residential program in the nation that caters specifically to male victims of trafficking, and locally, only a minority of social service agencies are equipped to assist male victims. This scarcity of resources contributes to the further marginalization and suffering of male victims.

The Public Hearing aims to mobilize governmental and non-governmental organizations, engage the public, and catalyze the development of targeted interventions and support systems for these often invisible victims.

Commissioner Moore invites all stakeholders and the public to participate in this critical discussion, aiming to forge a path towards justice and healing for all victims of sex trafficking. The public hearing will take place at the Cook County Government Building, located at 118 N. Clark Street 5th floor board room Chicago, Illinois.

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