News Release: Senate Members Applauded for Raising Awareness to Human Trafficking in Michigan

May 2, 2013

(Lansing)—It has been estimated that approximately 150 women in Michigan under the age of 18 are sold into sex trafficking each month, and Michigan Catholic Conference is applauding four members of the Michigan Senate for raising awareness to this “scourge of evil.” Beginning at 9:30 a.m. today, a bipartisan Human Trafficking Legislative Day will take place at the State Capitol, where participants will greet the sponsoring legislators before heading to the Senate Hearing Room in the Boji Tower for a panel discussion.

“Michigan Catholic Conference is supportive of and thankful for the efforts of this bipartisan legislative day to raise awareness about the horrors of human trafficking, which Blessed John Paul II referred to as a ‘scourge of evil,’” said Michigan Catholic Conference Policy Advocate Rebecca Mastee. “It is imperative to raise the collective level of consciousness in Michigan about this issue as human trafficking is an appalling crime against the fundamental rights and dignity of the human person.”

The members of the Michigan Senate sponsoring the Human Trafficking Legislative Day are Senators Judy Emmons (R-Sheridan), Minority Leader Gretchen Whitmer (D-East Lansing), Tonya Schuitmaker (R-Lawton), and Rebekah Warren (D-Ann Arbor). Following a 10:30 a.m. panel discussion there will be a break for lunch before a 1:00 viewing of the movie “Very Young Girls,” a documentary that shows the realities of domestic human trafficking.

Legislation that would increase the penalties for the crime of soliciting a minor to commit prostitution has been introduced in the State Senate. Senate Bills 205 and 206 await consideration from the Senate Families, Seniors and Human Services Committee.

Michigan Catholic Conference is the official public policy voice of the Catholic Church in this state.

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