During the first week of the 102nd Legislature, the state House adopted a resolution introduced by Rep. Pauline Wendzel declaring January as Human Trafficking Awareness Month in the state of Michigan.
Illegal under federal and state law, human trafficking is one of the fastest-growing crimes in the world. According to the U.S. Department of State, it is second only to drug trafficking as the most profitable form of crime bringing in approximately $87 million per day from sex trafficking transactions.
Rep. Wendzel addressed the misconception that human trafficking is not a local problem.
“The heartbreaking reality is that human trafficking is not a faraway problem. With I—94 running right through our community and our proximity to large cities like Chicago, Detroit, and Grand Rapids, this atrocious act is happening right in our own backyard and is plaguing the lives of innocent children, women and men” Rep. Wendzel said. “This resolution sends a message to victims that there are lawmakers throughout the state who fully support bolstering efforts to not only rescue those imprisoned in the industry, but also to support and provide legal protections for those who have escaped.”
Rep. Wendzel also thanked local businesses, law enforcement officers, and prosecutors for their work in combatting this crime.
“I’m incredibly proud of the hard work our local businesses, law enforcement officers, and prosecutors have put into combatting this crime,” Rep. Wendzel said. “Thanks to their actions, countless individuals who have been victims of human trafficking and survived have been liberated and begun a long road to recovery.”
Wendzel has supported bipartisan legislation in past years to provide support and hold harmless human trafficking survivors who are trying to restart their lives after escaping the imprisonment of trafficking.
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