Emmons: Michigan’s new human trafficking laws working

LANSING, Mich. — Sen. Judy Emmons is applauding the Monday decision by the Third Judicial Circuit Court of Michigan — Family Division for using sound judgement by granting a human trafficking survivor permanent custody of her child.

“This is a landmark case in which the judge’s awareness of human trafficking helped keep a family together and child in a safe home,” said Emmons, R-Sheridan. “I applaud Judge Halloran for giving a trafficking survivor full custody of her child — whose father was also the mother’s trafficker. Human trafficking devastates thousands of lives every year in Michigan, and this ruling is critical to this survivor and sets an important precedent for survivors throughout the state.”

“It is evidence that our new laws and continued effort to bring awareness to this issue are working to help survivors, but most importantly, it is a story of a family on the road to recovery from a personal nightmare.”

Emmons said that federal authorities were at the courthouse to arrest the father on several charges, including human trafficking.

The senator also mentioned the work of Michigan’s attorney general on the issue.

“Attorney General Bill Schuette understands the problem we are facing and has successfully brought traffickers to justice,” Emmons said. “I look forward to continuing to work with the attorney general to continue to improve our laws and outreach, so we can have similar positive results as in this most recent case.”

Emmons is the Senate point-person on the issue of human trafficking and was instrumental in the passage of a bipartisan, comprehensive effort to protect Michigan residents from trafficking. In recognition of her efforts in fighting the crime, Emmons was honored in January with the Michigan Liberator of the Year Award.

Earlier this year, Emmons hosted a series of human trafficking forums throughout the state. The forums were part of an effort to raise awareness about trafficking by giving the public a chance to hear survivors share their personal stories.