EMU to host panel raising awareness of human trafficking

Last year, 114 human trafficking cases were reported in Michigan, according to the National Human Trafficking Resource Center.

A panel will be held to discuss human trafficking Tuesday evening, Jan. 19. The event, “Meet the Movement: Panel on Human Trafficking,” will focus on how Michigan is trying to combat and bring an end to human trafficking. State legislators and law enforcement, along with non-profit representatives will attend the event.

The NHRTC defines human trafficking as, “…a form of modern-day slavery in which traffickers use force, fraud or coercion to control victims for the purpose of engaging in commercial sex acts or labor services against his/her will.”

As the definition suggests, there are two types of human trafficking: sex and labor.

Last year in Michigan, human trafficking was broken down to:

  • 89 cases of sex trafficking
  • 15 cases of labor trafficking
  • Seven cases of sex and labor trafficking
  • Three cases where the trafficking type wasn’t specified

In 2015 Michigan was ranked No. 2 in the country for human trafficking sex trade, according to MLive.

Although the problem is growing, awareness is also increasing. Last October, the FBI put together a national effort to try to counter human trafficking. “Nationally, 149 victims were recovered and 153 pimps arrested in what the FBI calls Operation Cross Country IX,” according to an October article from MLive. Those numbers included 19 underage victims and 12 pimps in the metro Detroit area.

Panels and events such as the one happening Tuesday will help raise awareness for this issue. “Meet the Movement: Panel of Human Trafficking,” will take place Tuesday from 7 to 9 p.m. in Student Center room 310B.

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