MARQUETTE, Mich. (WLUC) – The Upper Peninsula Human Trafficking Task Force held its quarterly meeting virtually Friday morning with Assistant Attorney General Kelly Carter. She told attendees some of what the Michigan Human Trafficking Commission wants to do to make sure justice is served.
“We’re looking at some additional ways to provide stronger tools for prosecution and law enforcement to actually hold traffickers accountable,” said Carter.
The AAG explained to members of the UPHTTF that the state legislature was focused mostly on issues related to COVID-19 last year. As a result, bills she and the commission wanted to put forth in an effort to fight human trafficking were put on hold but have been reintroduced this year.
One proposal includes replacing the term “prostitution” with “commercial sexual activity.”
“The vast majority of commercial sexual activity that is happening out there is either trafficking or, at the very least, pandering,” Carter explained. “That means there is another person involved and sort of making it happen or encouraging it to happen.”
Another proposal Carter hopes gets passed is more protection for victims, which includes the sealing of arrest and conviction records of adults and juveniles.
UPHTTF’s board president, Stephanie Krieger, also put out some advice for any parents of young people who could fall victim to this crime.
“Parents are reminded to talk to their children about the dangers of talking to strangers on social media,” Krieger stated. “Many individuals, including, but not limited to, sex traffickers, utilize social media apps to seek out their young victims.”
There were also discussions during the meeting on how important it is for the public to be educated on the issue.
The task force’s next meeting is scheduled for September 3rd. As of right now, it is unclear if that meeting will be in person.
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