Senator Proos Touts 21 New Human Trafficking Laws

Human TraffickingWSJM – Radio

New protections are now in place in Michigan for victims and survivors of human trafficking. Governor Snyder has recently enacted 21 new laws, with three of the bills sponsored by Senator John Proos of St. Joseph. He says the I-94 corridor is among the most active routes for traffickers.

Among the provisions of the new laws are the creation of the Human Trafficking Victims Compensation Act. That act will make survivors eligible for financial compensation from those who trafficked them, and the survivors will also now be allowed to sue their captors. Another part of the new law gives survivors better access to medical and psychological care. Southwest Michigan Human Trafficking Task Force founder Cathy Knauf says it’s modern day slavery and is the fastest-growing criminal enterprise in the country. For total crimes, trafficking trails only drugs and guns.

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Proos Visits Michigan Women’s Commission, Talks Human Trafficking

Proos_Womens Commission Human TraffickingWSJM – Radio

Jason Scott Reporting

Human trafficking is the world’s second largest criminal industry and a major problem in Michigan, according to state Senator John Proos.

This week he talked with the Michigan Women’s Commission about recently introduced legislation to combat the crime.

Proos’ bills give victims a chance to sue for restitution, also an opportunity for a hearing where a judge could clear convictions from their record if the offenses were committed as a result of being trafficked.

Cracking Down on Human Sex Trafficking

Human trafficking is the second-largest criminal industry in the world that devastates the lives of thousands of adults and children each year with a third of cases involving the sexual exploitation of a child.

Senate Bill 1213 would make the solicitation of a minor age 16 or 17 to commit prostitution or any other lewd or immoral act a felony punishable by imprisonment of up to five years, a fine of not more than $10,000 or both.

This crackdown targets the source of the problem: The person soliciting the prostitute, which results in thousands of women and children being sexually exploited – often against their will.

The bill would ensure that anyone attempting to exploit a child receives a severe punishment that fits the severe impact of their crime.

Human trafficking has occurred if a person was induced to perform labor or a commercial sex act through force, fraud or coercion. However, anyone under the age of 18 who performs a commercial sex act is considered a victim regardless of force, fraud or coercion.

While we don’t often think about this terrible crime happening in our great state, unfortunately it does. That is why Michigan’s human trafficking laws were strengthened in 2010.

In March, Attorney General Bill Schuette secured the first conviction under the new laws. A 32-year-old Detroit man was convicted on 8 counts for enslaving two girls age 14 and 15 and forcing them to engage in prostitution. Currently, six defendants are facing human trafficking charges right here in Michigan.

If you are a victim of human trafficking or if you know someone who may need help, please contact the National Human Trafficking Resource Center at 1-888-373-7888.

For more information about human trafficking visit the attorney general’s website at: http://www.michigan.gov/ag. Click on “human trafficking.”

Bills Aim to Prevent Human Trafficking in Michigan

Legislation to help stop human sex trafficking in Michigan by strengthening the punishment for soliciting a minor to commit prostitution was approved by the Michigan Senate on Thursday. Senate Bill 1213 would make the solicitation of a minor age 16 or 17 to commit prostitution or any other lewd or immoral act a felony punishable by imprisonment of up to five years. State Senator John Proos says that this will help fight a crime that many people don’t often talk about.

Information about human trafficking — including how to identify and report it — is available on the Michigan attorney general’s website at michigan.gov/humantrafficking. The bill approved this week now goes on to the State House.