LANSING (WWJ/AP) – Michigan’s attorney general is leading a new commission aimed at dealing with human trafficking problems in the state.

Attorney General Bill Schuette announced the creation of Michigan Commission on Human Trafficking on Wednesday. The group will include lawmakers, activists and law enforcement. It will be tasked with reviewing Michigan policies and victim services as well as developing plans for raising awareness about the issue.

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“Human traffickers take advantage of technology to remain anonymous and keep their victims hidden in the shadows,” said Schuette.  “Our daughters, friends, and neighbors are forced into prostitution, domestic servitude and other forced labor by criminals who take advantage of them.

He said this “modern day form of bondage” is one of the world’s fastest growing crimes.

The commission is expected to begin meeting this month. Schuette says he will present the group’s findings and recommendations to the legislature and public at the end of the six month review.

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Commission members will include Gov. Rick Snyder and also Rep. Kurt Heise (R-Plymouth), Chairman of the House Criminal Justice Committee.

“This issue of human trafficking is very personal to me because I have two teenage daughters,” said Heise. “The thought of my daughters and their classmates being forced into this type of activity is hard to imagine.  I empathize with the child victims and their families, who are dealing with this terrible crime.”

For more information about human trafficking in Michigan, including how to report a crime, visit this link.

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