DETROIT (WWJ) – Human trafficking is a problem nationwide.
That’s according to Michigan State Police, who say, between January of 2008 and June of 2010, there were over 2,500 instances of human trafficking in the U.S.READ MORE: Safety Is Top Priority As Parents, Students Prepare For Upcoming School Year
Here in Michigan, troopers are working to spread awareness about the topic as part of National Human Trafficking Awareness Month.
MSP First Lt. Michael Shaw says many people don’t understand what human trafficking is.
“It a lot of times get paired up with prostitution, which is not the case,” he told WWJ Newsradio 950’s Zahra Huber. “It’s a modern-day slavery that we see in the United States where people use force or fraud, or some type of coercion, to control their victims for either engaging in commercial sex acts or for using them as labor.”
Shaw said estimated that 76 percent of transactions for sex with underage girls start online.READ MORE: Donations Needed For Landfill Search To Find Zion Foster
With that in mind, he stresses that parents need to be involved in their children’s lives.
“The Internet is kind of like an open window or an open door to your home,” Shaw said. “And parents really need to pay attention to what their kids are doing — both male and female — on the Internet.”
“There’s no Fourth Amendment right to search and seizure for your children. You should have access to their passwords and all of their sights.”
Shaw said State Police are doing their part to combat the problem.
“We see a lot of human trafficking in our truck stops, and different rest areas where we see truckers going across the United States,” said Shaw. “And we’ve actually started this program called ‘Truckers Against Trafficking’ …We’re using our commercial vehicle officers to go to these different locations and kinda talk to truckers about people that they see.”MORE NEWS: Businesses Make Changes To Keep Customers Safe Amid Boil Water Advisory In SE Michigan
A Michigan law banning human trafficking took effect in August of 2006 and was strengthened in 2010. Get details about the law, here.