An epidemic is happening seamlessly in communities across America. A hidden crime even law enforcement often overlook it or misidentify it for what it really is. Human Trafficking, the underground world where people are held against their will, forced into prostitution, and or used for slave labor.
According to the National Human Trafficking Resource Center, as of March 31, 2016, there have already been 74 human trafficking cases reported in Michigan. However, there are organizations and individuals shedding light on this crime in the shadows, helping women break free from their oppressors, and prosecuting them to the fullest extent of the law.
The Michigan Human Trafficking Task Force is one of those organizations. It’s Facebook page is dedicated to increasing collaboration and response between law enforcement and social service agencies, building awareness in Michigan communities on issues relating to human trafficking, and to collect, evaluate and disseminate legal mechanism to combat human trafficking. Jane P. White is the director and founder of this organization through Michigan State University. The organization has been in existence for 19years.
Another organization with a large Facebook following is All Worthy of Love. This Christian-based organization is an anti-human trafficking non-profit that reaches out to those enslaved by prostitution. They do this through local weekly outreach focusing on prevention, rescue, and restoration. Founded on Valentines Day 2011, founder Lindsey Fischer believes in loving the broken and making sure the women they connect with on the street have an identity. All Worthy of Love has a moderate Twitter following with just over 200 and thirteen hundred tweets but looks to tweet often.
One person who is bringing awareness to this crime is Bridgette Carr an advocate, lawyer, and professor at the University of Michigan Law School fighting against human trafficking by representing individuals and developing legal clinics around the world. She has dedicated her Twitter page to the awareness of the crime, tweeting about it more than 250 times. Her professional profile on LinkedIn states that she is the clinical professor of law at the University of Michigan and founding director of the Law School’s Human Trafficking Clinic (HTC). The HTC was launched in 2009 and was the nation’s first legal clinic devoted to providing comprehensive representation to victims of human trafficking.
Another person that is pushing to end human trafficking and has the law behind him is Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette. Under his slogan “Michigan’s Voice for Victims” Schuette has developed a task force dedicated to educating law enforcement to recognize signs of human trafficking. He has a number of videos dedicated to the awareness of the crime on Google+. Schuette also has a large Twitter following. With over 34-hundred tweets he has more than 7-thousand followers. Although his Twitter account extends to all of his duties as Attorney General, he has tweeted significantly about the topic of human trafficking in MI.
Lastly, private investigator and detective Richard Sands has several articles on Google+ dedicated bringing awareness and ending human traffic in Michigan. He is currently the Board Chair and President of Michigan Rescue and Restore Coalition, an organization that is willing to work alongside other established organizations to end human trafficking.