The Michigan law banning human trafficking took effect on August 24, 2006. The law was strengthened in 2010 with changes taking effect on April 1, 2011. These changes included enhanced restitution for human trafficking victims. Not only can victims ask for all costs suffered as a consequence of their bondage, such as medical costs, they can also ask for a restitution order that finally recognizes the value of the years of their life lost due to the crime.
The human trafficking chapter was further overhauled in 2014 as a result of a 21-bill legislative package. The 2014 legislative package included safe harbor provisions, stronger tools to hold traffickers accountable, and created a standing Human Trafficking Commission within the Department of Attorney General and a Human Trafficking Health Advisory Board within the Department of Community Health. Most of the new legislation took effect on January 14, 2015.
The human trafficking chapter of Michigan law can be found at MCL 750.462(a)-(i).
"Forced labor or services" means labor or services that are obtained or maintained by force, fraud, or coercion. MCL 750.462a(g)
"Force" includes, but is not limited to, physical violence or threat of physical violence or actual physical restraint or confinement or threat of actual physical restraint of confinement, without regard to whether injury occurs. MCL 762.462a(f)
"Fraud" includes, but is not limited to, a false or deceptive offer of employment or marriage. MCL 762a(h)
"Coercion" includes, but is not limited to, any of the following:
A victim may experience the legal concepts noted above in the following ways:
Force: Kidnapping, torture, battering, threats with weapons, sexual abuse, confinement, forced use of drugs, forced abortions, denial of medical care.
Fraud: Promises of valid immigration documents, victim told to use false travel papers, contract signed for legitimate work, promised job differs from actuality, promises of money or salary, misrepresentation of work conditions, wooing into romantic relationship.
Coercion: Debt bondage, threats of harm to victim or family, control of children, controlled communication, photographing in illegal situation, holding ID/travel documents, verbal or psychological abuse, control of victims money, punishments for misbehavior.