Human trafficking problem growing in Michigan
Michigan has seen a 16% increase in reported human trafficking cases, according to data released Thursday.
an organization that helps fight human trafficking across the globe,
released the data from the National Human Trafficking Resource Center
(NHTRC) hotline, stating that there were 152 Michigan human trafficking
cases reported in 2015. They included 122 cases of sex trafficking and
18 cases of labor trafficking.
In 2014, 131 cases were reported.
Since 2007, the NHTRC has received reports of 556 cases of human
trafficking in Michigan, according to the data.
Across the U.S.
and overseas, there were 5,973 cases of human trafficking reported to
the NHTRC and Polarisís BeFree Textline, and a total of 1,636 survivors
of sex and labor trafficking reached out to the hotlines, a 24% increase
over 2014. In total, NHTRC and Polaris have received reports of 25,696
cases of human trafficking since December 2007, establishing the
largest data set on human trafficking in the U.S.
To address the
growing problem, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Homeland
Security Investigations, along with other law enforcement agencies, is
hosting a human trafficking seminar Thursday.
"We're doing this
forum about human trafficking to pool all the resources to address this
threat," said Khaalid Walls, ICE's Northeast Regional
Communications spokesman, adding that the U.S. Attorney's Office and the
University of Detroit Mercy are participating, as well.
to data from ICE, 1,437 individuals were arrested in 2015 across the
country for human trafficking and nearly 400 trafficking victims were
identified and offered critical services.
Walls said ICE
investigators have seen an increase in cases throughout Michigan,
affirming the data released Thursday. Walls said ICE usually
increases its presence around high-profile events in metro Detroit such
as the North American International Auto Show and sporting events.
see it and it's definitely increasing, whether it's a sporting event or
high-profile conference, those events definitely can attract people who
are looking to engage in a broad range of criminal activities," Walls
said. "What we've seen is criminal groups who move around from city to
city, engaging in their acts. And what it does is, create a marketplace
where they know a lot of individuals are going to be."
For more information on human trafficking, go to https://www.ice.gov/human-trafficking.