January being recognized as Human Trafficking Awareness & Prevention Month

Photo: Imagens Evangélicas / CC BY 2.0
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - Michigan's Attorney General, Bill Schuette, recognized Tuesday President Trump's assignment of January as Human Trafficking Awareness and Prevention Month.

"Human trafficking has no place in Michigan, and I am proud of the work that my Department and law enforcement agencies across the state of Michigan have done to free survivors of trafficking, and prosecute the offenders,” said Schuette. “We will continue to fight against this modern form of slavery by bringing light into the darkness created by those that harm others.”

A new law for victims of human trafficking was passed in 2017. Often, human trafficking survivors have been arrested and charged with prostitution related charges which discourage their employment and educational opportunities.

Law 'PA 35 of 2017' allows human trafficking victims to have their prostitution related charges diverted by the court if they are found to have been victims of human trafficking.

Human trafficking is second only to drug trafficking as the fastest-growing and second-largest criminal industry in the world.

There are an estimated 25 million people involved with human trafficking for both sex and labor.

Upon taking office in 2011, Schuette launched the state's first Human Trafficking Unit in the Attorney General's Office to prosecute human traffickers under state law. Since 2011, eleven people have been charged with human trafficking by the Department of Attorney General.