Who is addressing human trafficking?

Those who are fighting the battle of slavery and sexual exploitation across Michigan.

Human trafficking is a devastating, horrific crime and a multi-billion dollar criminal industry that continues to plague 20.9 million people globally. In 2016, the Polaris Project learned of 8,042 cases of human trafficking, a 35 percent jump from 2015. Of those statistics, the American Indian population is often times affected at higher rates compared to other races/ethnicities; however, there is no data collection method to provide a clear picture of human trafficking or sexual exploitation in the US or across Indian Country. Because human trafficking has continued to affect the lives of individuals, families, communities and nations, there are several associations and organizations that focus their efforts on assisting the victims of human trafficking.

  • Michigan Human Trafficking Task Force
    • A consortium of 100 Michigan based organizations which engage innumerable agencies to work together for the collaborative impact of awareness, support of prosecution of offenders and identifying victims. They put forth every effort to assist them to become survivors.
  • Polaris Project: Freedom Happens Now
    • For ten years has been offering their services to those affected by human trafficking while working with various government entities to address human trafficking. 
      • Supports the National Human Trafficking Resource Center
      • Coordinates the BeFreeHotlines
      • Offers expertise in the area of human trafficking legislation and policy development
      • Provides shelter to clients in need, responds to emergency situations and offers a wide range of psychological and social services 
      • Delivers educational programs with businesses, non-profits, non-governmental organizations and the public sector
      • Coordinates a network of resources and contacts for those who are looking for partners and supports in their specific region or area
  • Department of Homeland Security
    • Investigates, makes arrests and provides assistance to those involved in a human trafficking situation. 
    • Their primary method of investigation is a victim-centered approach.
  • Native American Affairs - Michigan Department of Health & Human Services
    • Provides family support and services to the Michigan American Indian population in partnership with Michigan Federally Recognized Tribes, state historical tribes, Indian organizations, local and federal governments, student organizations and other community partners.
  • Human Trafficking Law Clinic at the University of Michigan
    • Offers legal services to victims of human trafficking. 
    • Enables students to increase their knowledge and skills through advocacy and working with clients on a national and international basis.
    • Provides expertise in the field of policy making and interdisciplinary collaboration to prevent and stop human trafficking.

The agencies and organizations discussed in the article represent just a handful of services and policy development offered to human trafficking victims and the communities who wish to prevent and stop the occurrence of human trafficking. Even though there has been an increase in programs focused on services, there continues to be the need for more policies, procedures, laws and statues that support victims of human trafficking. To learn more about Michigan State University Extension Government and Public Policy and Michigan Tribal Governance programs please contact Emily Proctor, Tribal Extension Educator with questions or comments at (231)-439-8927 or proctor8@anr.msu.edu

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