State Rep. Julie Alexander has introduced sweeping bipartisan legislation to support survivors of human trafficking and help them rebuild their lives after escaping their captors.
“Survivors of human trafficking are resilient, but we’ve learned that rebuilding their lives is made even more difficult by criminal charges they can face after escaping the industry,” Alexander said. “We must update state law to help empower those who find their way out of sex and labor trafficking, so they can continue on their path to a better life.”
The bipartisan plan would:
- Expand the types of criminal convictions that can be set aside if a crime was committed because someone is a victim of human trafficking.
- Allow human trafficking victims who were forced to engage in criminal activity the opportunity to use their victimization as an affirmative defense in court.
- Allow juvenile offenses committed by a young victim of trafficking to be expunged from their criminal record.
- Change references of “prostitution” to “commercial sexual activity” in state law.
- Update and clarify several court procedures for human trafficking cases.
Human trafficking is one of the fastest-growing crimes in the world, second only to drug trafficking as the highest yielding form of crime, according to the U.S. Department of State. Approximately $87 million is made per day from sex trafficking transactions.
“Human trafficking is happening right here in Michigan, and survivors walk among us every day,” Alexander said. “It’s not a faraway problem. We must take this opportunity to ensure innocent survivors are not penalized under Michigan law.”
The plan was referred to the House Judiciary Committee for consideration.
State Rep. Julie Alexander on Thursday introduced a plan to clarify the assessment of property taxes on homes built by nonprofit housing organizations in order to ease the burden on low-income homeowners.