Emmons, Flores leading effort to enact Senate legislation to end human trafficking, support survivors

LANSING—Sen. Judy Emmons will host Michigan native Theresa Flores on Tuesday as part of an ongoing effort to bring attention to human trafficking in Michigan and rally support for a comprehensive Senate package designed to crack down on the crime and support its survivors.

Flores is a survivor, author and renowned expert on human trafficking and will speak out about the heinous nature of the crime and the importance of acting to end it at a rally on the Michigan Capitol East Steps on Tuesday, Sept. 16 at 3:15 p.m.

Afterward, Flores and Emmons will be talking with legislators and residents about the Senate’s 19-bill, bipartisan package that would address human trafficking in Michigan, including increasing penalties, training and survivor support. The discussion will be held at Karoub Associates at 121 W. Allegan St. in Lansing shortly after the rally.

Both the rally and the discussion are open to all interested residents.

“Human trafficking is a multi-billion-dollar global criminal enterprise that devastates the lives of thousands of women and children every year — and it’s happening right here in our state,” said Emmons, R-Sheridan. “As a mother and grandmother, it is particularly alarming to me that 80 percent of survivors are exploited sexually and 40 percent of cases involve the sexual exploitation of a child. I have made it my personal mission to protect our children from human trafficking.”

Among the reforms is Senate Bill 584, sponsored by Emmons and named the Theresa Flores Act. It would eliminate the statute of limitations for any human trafficking or commercial sexual exploitation of children offenses. The bill has been approved by the Senate and awaits House passage.

“As the point person in the Senate on human trafficking, I know that we are up against a criminal industry that is second only to illegal drugs,” Emmons said. “To be successful we need a comprehensive solution. It all starts with raising public awareness, and we have made great strides in that effort. However, to win this battle we also need more legal tools, increased support for survivors and additional training for those on the front lines.”

To learn more about human trafficking and the Senate’s legislative efforts, visit Emmons’ website at www.SenatorJudyEmmons.com or contact her office at 517-373-3760 or via email at senjemmons@senate.michigan.gov.