What are Michigan’s human trafficking laws and policies?
Michigan has passed several laws since 2006 banning and addressing human trafficking.
Human trafficking, a multi-billion dollar global industry, is considered the modern day slavery. This global enterprise occurs within our towns, villages, cities, tribes and counties throughout our country. There continues to be human trafficking activity in Michigan. One possible reason includes the shared borders between Michigan and Canada, tribal nations, other states and waterways. In addition, there are several large cities and events that occur frequently that increase the opportunity for individuals to be trafficked across the borders. In order to combat trafficking of individuals some states have taken a stronger stance than others against such activity. Michigan has passed several laws banning human trafficking:
- The Michigan Code of Criminal Procedure (Excerpt) - Felony for human trafficking MI Legislature - Code of Criminal Procedure Act 175 of 1927.
- Amended Michigan Code of Criminal Procedure (Excerpt) – Increased type of human trafficking activities that are considered to be felonious
- Human Trafficking Commission Act – Created a process to establish membership, by laws, duties and administration of the Commission Michigan Human Trafficking Commission Act of 2014.
- Human Trafficking Victims Compensation Act – Establish remedies for victims of human trafficking. Michigan Human Trafficking Victims Compensation Act of 2014
- Human Trafficking Health Advisory Board Act – Creation of a human trafficking health advisory board to establish roles, duties, responsibilities, and membership process Human Trafficking Health Advisory Board Act of 2014
According to the National Human Trafficking Resource Center (NHTRC ) there have been 33 human trafficking cases reported as of March 31, 2015. The majority of the victims were female adult/minor United States citizens. The Polaris Project, an anti-human trafficking non-profit advocacy organization, provides an annual national report with state specific ratings. These ratings are based on 10 specific statute rating categories: (Michigan’s rating is in bold) Polaris Project - Michigan State Report: State Ratings 2014
- Sex Trafficking - Included
- Labor Trafficking - Included
- (a) Asset forfeiture for human trafficking (b) Investigative Tools for Law Enforcement - Included
- (a) Training on Human Trafficking for Law Enforcement (b) Human Trafficking Commission or Task Force – Still Needed
- Lower Burden of Proof for Sex Trafficking of Minors – Included
- Posting a Human Trafficking Hotline - Still Needed
- Safe Harbor-Protecting Sexually Exploited Minors - Included
- Victim Assistance – Still Needed
- Access to Civil Damages - Still Needed
- Vacating Convictions for Sex Trafficking Victims – Still Needed
In order to continue addressing this devastating criminal activity State Senator Judy K. Emmons has taken a strong stand with Michigan communities to address human trafficking at a grassroots level Senator Judy K.Emmons - Human Trafficking. In addition, Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette and the State of Michigan Human Trafficking Task Force a non-profit organization, housed within the Michigan State University School of Criminal Justice are committed to assist victims, educate Michigan communities and prosecute offenders Michigan Human Trafficking Task Force. Please stay tuned for the next article regarding Human Trafficking in Tribal Nations.
Other articles in this series: