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Michigan Human Trafficking Laws

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 of the Michigan Penal Code 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.

Did You Know?

  • The definition of trafficking was amended in 2018 to include labor or services obtained through the control or facilitation of an individual's access to controlled substance.
  • Penalties for violations of the human trafficking statute start at 10 years to life imprisonment and increase up to 15 or 20 years, depending upon the circumstances of the crime. 
  • Penalties for violations of the human trafficking statute involving labor or sex trafficking a minor begin at up to 20 years.
  • Penalties may be increased if the human trafficking involves kidnapping, criminal sexual conduct, an attempt to kill or death.
  • Other crimes may be charged in conjunction with human trafficking.

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Laws to Hold Traffickers Accountable

  • Increases the crime of buying sex from a minor to a felony to reduce demand.2014 PA 326 [SB 205] amends MCL 750.449.
  • Overhauls the current human trafficking chapter of the penal code by updating, consolidating and streamlining the current penal code provisions regarding the crime of human trafficking. 2014 PA 329 [HB 5234] amends MCL 750.462a-i.
  • Removes the statute of limitations in cases where trafficking is punishable by life and otherwise lengthened the statute of limitations for bringing charges against traffickers. (Theresa Flores Law). 2014 PA 324 [SB 584] amends MCL 767.24.
  • Strengthens penalties against sex-buyers (johns) by revising the definition of Tier I Sex Offender to include the new crime of soliciting prostitution from a minor as well as adding those engaging in trafficking minors for sex as Tier II sex offenders, and requires johns to be placed on sex offender registry. 2014 PA 328 [SB 602] amends MCL 28.722.
  • Removes outdated gender-specific references in the prostitution chapter, and increases the fine for operating a place of prostitution from $2500 to $5000. 2014 PA 331 [HB 5231] amends MCL 750.452, 750.455, 750.456, 750.457, 750.458, 750.459, and 750.460. ** Effective 10-16-2014
  • Updates the Crime Victim's Rights Act to account for the overhaul of the human trafficking chapter. 2014 PA 340 [HB 5237] amends MCL 780.766(b).
  • Updates the Omnibus Forfeiture Act to include provisions to account for the overhaul of the human trafficking act as well as extends the time in which to file a forfeiture action. 2014 PA 332 [HB 5236] amends MCL 600.4701.
  • Amends the Omnibus Forfeiture Act to include human trafficking as crime subject to forfeiture to aid in removing the profit motive from the crime of human trafficking. 2014 PA 333 [HB 5233] amends MCL 600.4702-4708.
  • Makes human trafficking of a child an offense that must be reported by mandatory reporters to Child Protective Services. 2014 PA 344 [HB 5239] amends MCL 722.623.
  • Reflects changes in the sentencing guidelines for increased penalties against criminals soliciting sex from minors under 16 years of age as well as changes in the human trafficking chapter updates. 2014 PA 327 [SB 206/HB 5232/HB 5235] amends MCL 777.16w.
  • Amends civil nuisance provisions to allow human trafficking violations to qualify as a nuisance.2014 PA 387 [HB5230] **Effective 3-31-15
    • Medical Passports - Requires indication in medical passport of whether child could be a victim of human trafficking and professional assessment of suspected human trafficking victims to ensure appropriate counseling. 2014 PA 337 [SB587].
    • Civil Cause of Action for human trafficking victims - Broadens the scope of damages available to a victim of human trafficking in a civil suit against her/his trafficker. 2014 PA 339 [SB 590].
    • Medical Assistance for human trafficking victims - Allows trafficking victims eligible for Medicaid to receive medical assistance benefits to treat injuries (medical or psychological) sustained as a result of trafficking. 2014 PA 341 [SB 592].
    • Foster care for human trafficking victims - Requires special consideration in foster care context for minors who may be human trafficking victims. 2014 PA 338 [SB 593].
    • Training for Medical Professionals - Requires the promulgation of new training requirements regarding human trafficking that would apply to most medical professionals. 2014 PA 343 [SB 597].
  • Creates a standing Michigan Commission on Human Trafficking within the Department of Attorney General to continue the work of the first Michigan Commission on Human Trafficking. 2014 PA 325 [HB 5158].

  • Creates the Michigan Human Trafficking Health Advisory Board within the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services to examine and explore issues relating to medical and mental health policies for victims of human trafficking.  2014 PA 461 [SB 596].