Sen. Emmons, Rep. Howrylak to participate in Nov. 4 human trafficking symposium

LANSING—Sen. Judy Emmons announced on Thursday that she will be the featured speaker at a human trafficking symposium on Monday, Nov. 4.

The event is being hosted by the 21st Century Women’s Alliance of Michigan (21st CWAM), as part of their mission to educate Michigan women about legislation relevant to women. The symposium will start at 6 p.m. at the Bloomfield Township Public Library, located at 1099 Lone Pine Road in Bloomfield Township. 

“Human trafficking is a huge global criminal enterprise that devastates the lives of thousands of women and children every year, but Michigan is taking a leading role in ending this modern-day slavery,” said Emmons, R-Sheridan. “We recently announced a landmark 19-bill package to combat this crime and support victims, but our efforts begin with increasing awareness that human trafficking is real and happening here in Michigan.”

Reforms in the 19-bill package include increasing penalties, training and victim support. Emmons’ legislation, named the Theresa Flores Act, would eliminate the statute of limitations for any human trafficking or commercial sexual exploitation of children offenses. It is named for Theresa Flores, a native of Birmingham and the author of The Slave Across the Street, her personal story about how she overcame human trafficking.

Rep. Martin Howrylak, R-Troy, is a co-sponsor of the human trafficking bills in the House and will also speak about the legislation.

“I was disturbed to learn that in Michigan alone, up to 150 girls per month are being sold into sex trafficking. Our freeway systems and waterways make this possible,” said Karen Faett, president of 21st CWAM. “It is a privilege for 21st CWAM to host this event and educate our community about this threat to young people and families. We invited local police departments, too, so information about this heinous activity will have an even greater reach.”

Lieutenant Reyes of the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office has been providing training to law enforcement regarding human trafficking for more than three years and will make a presentation about the sheriff’s office activities to address this growing criminal enterprise.

To reserve your seat for this free event or for other inquiries, send an e-mail to kmfsheltie@comcast.net. For more information about 21st CWAM, visit their website at www.21stwomensalliance.org.

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