Over 800,000 people are smuggled involuntarily across national borders annually. Between 18,000 and 20,000 of those victims are trafficked into the U.S. Human trafficking is modern-day slavery, involving victims who are forced, defrauded or coerced into labor or sexual exploitation. People are snared into trafficking through physical force, false promises regarding job opportunities or marriages in foreign countries.
The most common form of human trafficking is sexual exploitation (79 percent) followed by forced labor (18 percent). Forced labor is detected and reported less because it is frequently goes unnoticed, especially in big cities. Four out of every five victims of trafficking are women and girls. Twenty percent of all trafficking victims in the world are children, but in some parts of Africa and Asia's Mekong region, children are the majority.
Michigan and northwest Ohio are considered a hot spot for human trafficking because of their proximity to the Canadian border. However, an official ban on human trafficking in Michigan didn't come until 2006, when Governor Jennifer Granholm signed House Bill 5747. This law now punishes perpetrators of human trafficking in Michigan. The maximum sentence an individual can get if convicted is life in prison if the activity results in the death of another. They can receive up to 15 years if a violation causes injury, and up to 10 years in other cases.
Michigan currently has five new bills in the Legislature (HB 5575, 5576, 5577, 5578, 5579.) These bills would amend various criminal statutes to create new crimes regarding human trafficking, include human trafficking as a predicate offense for a crime of racketeering, and to require persons convicted of a human trafficking offense to pay restitution to victims.
Human trafficking has a devastating impact on individual victims, who often suffer physical and emotional abuse, rape, threats against self and family, passport theft and even death. But the impact of human trafficking goes beyond individual victims; it undermines the safety and security of all nations it touches.
Encourage Hotels to Take Action to Fight Trafficking Personalize and print out this letter. Then deliver it to hotels where you stay. The letter asks hotels to sign 'The Code' of conduct for the protection of children from sexual exploitation in the travel and tourism industry.