Glenn Sponsors Human Trafficking Support Bills

Saturday, July 30 is recognized as the World Day Against Trafficking in Persons.

Human trafficking involves labor obtained through force, fraud or coercion. It often involves sexual exploitation or other types of forced, involuntary servitude. While about half its victims come from at-risk homes, State Representative Annette Glenn says human trafficking is a crime victimizing people from all socio-economic backgrounds.

“Human trafficking often happens in secret, and it can happen virtually anywhere, to virtually anyone. As a mother and grandmother, that’s deeply troubling to me.”

Glenn says it’s also why combating human trafficking has been one of her priorities as a member of the Michigan Legislature. Her track record of support for survivors of human trafficking includes reforms approved by the Legislature in 2020. The change in law protects survivors through an address confidentiality program, making it more difficult for offenders to track down their victims.

Glenn sponsors two related initiatives in the Legislature’s ongoing 2021-22 session.

House Bill 4101 is part of bipartisan plan that 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. The legislative package would allow human trafficking victims who were forced to engage in criminal activity the opportunity to use their victimization as an affirmative defense in court, and allow juvenile offenses committed by young victims of trafficking to be expunged from their criminal records. The legislation is awaiting review in the House Judiciary Committee.

House Bill 5889 already has been advanced by the House Rules and Competitiveness Committee. The measure would protect survivors’ privacy rights by making communications between human trafficking victims and their counselors confidential and inadmissible in court proceedings without the victim’s prior written consent. It is the same sort of confidentiality protection already allowed in Michigan law for sexual assault and domestic violence victims.

House Bill 5889 is awaiting a vote on the House floor.

If you think someone you know might be a victim of trafficking, call the National Trafficking Hotline at 1-888-373-7888.