State Senate Could Vote Soon On “Safe Harbor” Bill

Jan 29, 2014

The state Senate could vote soon on measures that say children who are sold into prostitution would be treated as victims and could not be charged with a crime.

The Michigan Public Radio Network’s Rick Pluta reports.

A Senate committee just adopted the bills, which represent a shift in how the state would deal with children who are trafficked for sex. 

Bridget Carr is with the University of Michigan’s Human Trafficking Clinic.

 “If these bills are enacted, children who are being sold for sex in Michigan could no longer be treated as criminals,” she says.

Carr says that would be a big change because right now 16 and 17 year olds who are sold for sex are often charged with prostitution, while younger kids are charged with being juvenile delinquents. She says these measures would treat those kids as victims, help them get counseling and other services, and maybe put more traffickers behind bars.