Legislation Initiative: Slave-Free Michigan
In collaboration with Polaris Project and International Justice Mission (IJM), Michigan Abolitionist Project is joining with other concerned citizens to encourage our legislators to support the Justice for Victims of Human Trafficking legislation. New legislation has been introduced in Michigan’s House and Senate as of fall 2013, and is expected to include provisions such as:
“Affirmative Defense” permits victims of human trafficking to explain, during criminal proceedings, how crimes they committed were a direct result of being trafficked. The judge and jury must respect the victim’s testimony as evidence in the case. This would remove a coercive tool of traffickers, who often force victims to commit crimes related to their trafficking and then use the threat of arrest and prosecution to control them.
“Vacating Conviction” provides victims of human trafficking or sexual exploitation the opportunity to clear their criminal records even after being convicted of prostitution. Without this important legislation, these vulnerable victims are left with a record that makes “starting over” seem nearly impossible.
“Safe Harbor” prevents minors from being prosecuted for prostitution. Instead of being treated as criminals in need of punishment, they will be treated as victims in need of assistance.
Since human trafficking is a relatively new issue and emerging area of knowledge for most social service, legal, and government professionals, we encourage citizens to personally contact their legislators to encourage them to learn more about this issue and to let them know that their constituents are concerned about human trafficking in Michigan. Open pdf for a Legislation Update
The more citizens who express their concern about human trafficking in Michigan, the more likely our senators and representatives will be to promote the laws we need to provide adequate services to victims and to abolish slavery in Michigan. Will you take a few minutes to email, write, or call your senator and representative? Click to be directed to a site to look up your Michigan Senator and your Michigan House Representative. Your personal contact will make a difference! For more ideas Click Here…