LANSING, MI – Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette today applauded the Michigan House on the passage of a new human trafficking legislative package introduced by State Representatives Laura Cox (R-Livonia), Nancy Jenkins (R-Clayton) and Gary Howell (R-Lapeer) based on legislative recommendations from the Michigan Human Trafficking Commission.
“We must continue to do everything we can to help victims of this horrific crime move forward and reclaim their lives,” said Schuette. “A criminal record for a crime they had no choice in committing does not help them restart and I thank the House for their support of these bills and look forward to a smooth passage through the senate. Working together we can put an end to the horrific crime of human trafficking and with a focus on victims we can ensure they have a chance at the life they deserve.”
The three bill package includes:
HB 5542 (Cox): If signed into law, this bill will make it easier for victims of human trafficking to expunge local ordinance prostitution violations from human trafficking from their criminal record.
HB 5543 (Howell): If signed into law, this bill will allow expungement of local ordinance prostitution violations of juveniles convicted of human trafficking related crimes.
HB 5544 (Jenkins): If signed into law, this bill will increase the penalty to 15 years for human trafficking involving commercial sex, also known as sex trafficking.
The bills now await consideration in the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Around the country, and right here in Michigan, children, women and men are forced into prostitution, domestic servitude and other labor for little or no pay, resulting from the use of force, fraud or coercion.
Demand for illegal activities such as paid sex fuels human trafficking, turning daughters and mothers into victims, permanently impacting the lives of those involved, their families and their loved ones.
Human trafficking is a modern-day form of slavery and it is the second-largest and fastest-growing criminal industry in the world.
Attorney General Schuette has made fighting this crime a priority by creating the first-ever human trafficking prosecution unit in his office and by helping create the Michigan Human Trafficking Commission.
For more information, please visit the Attorney General’s human trafficking webpage.