LANSING – Senate Bills 593 and 597, sponsored by Senator Rebekah Warren (D – Ann Arbor), passed the Senate unanimously today and moved Michigan one step closer to providing critical support for victims of human trafficking. Part of a larger 19-bill package aimed at ending modern day slavery in Michigan, Senator Warren’s legislation will improve the lives of survivors who are placed in foster care and will help medical professionals begin to help those who are often too scared or traumatized to speak the truth of their experiences.

“As we work toward enacting policy that will reduce the prevalence of human trafficking in Michigan, it is critical for us to remain focused on a victim-centered approach that will increase our chances of protecting children and adults from these horrific offenses,” said Senator Warren. “Human trafficking is a devastating crime that is vastly underestimated both locally and globally, and I am proud to be a part of the effort to end this daily nightmare for some of our most vulnerable residents.”

SB 593 provides Department of Human Services (DHS) foster care case managers with the flexibility to create individualized plans for each human trafficking survivor and allows a “human trafficking” status to be applied to individuals in order to help decrease re-victimization. SB 597 gives medical professionals the tools needed to help identify those who have been trafficked to ensure survivors of this unspeakable crime can feel safe and secure as they regain their lives.

Human Trafficking is widespread throughout the United States and occurs right here in Michigan. According to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, human trafficking is the fastest growing criminal industry in the world, with nearly 2 out of 3 victims being female.