LANSING, Mich. —Sen. Mike Nofs announced on Friday that he has sponsored legislation that is part of a 19-bill, landmark initiative to crack down on human trafficking offenders and support its victims and survivors.
“Human trafficking is a crime that is easily overlooked as something that just happens in other countries or in the movies. But it’s prevalence nationwide and right here in Michigan continues to grow at an alarming rate.”
A press conference was held on the Capitol steps Thursday by Sen. Judy Emmons, R-Sheridan, and group of thirteen other senators, concerned citizens and advocates fighting against human trafficking to announce bipartisan legislative solutions to crack down on offenders and support its victims and survivors.
Some of the reforms in the bipartisan package include increasing victim support, training for law enforcement agencies and increasing the severity of penalties for offenders. The bills would also eliminate the statute of limitations for any human trafficking or commercial sexual exploitation of children offenses.
“Currently, criminals face steeper penalties for selling narcotics than human beings,” said Nofs, R-Battle Creek. “ If we don’t ensure that the penalties for human trafficking fit the crime, it will continue to be an attractive business option for those who would prey on Michigan’s women and children.”
In a 76-city sweep, the largest law enforcement action focused on children forced into sexual slavery. Metro Detroit saw the second-highest child sex slave rescues in the country, with 10 children recovered, and the 18 pimp arrests was the nation’s highest.
Information about human trafficking, including how to identify and report it, is available on the attorney general’s website at: www.michigan.gov/humantrafficking.