Human trafficking has inspired nothing less than a franchise of Hollywood action movies and recently led to charges against the Ingham County prosecutor. But it may remain as one of the least-understood crimes in the current culture.
Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette convened a commission on it in 2011, which sparked a package of legislation. Even so, most people probably couldn’t define what, exactly, constitutes human trafficking, despite explanatory phrases like “modern slavery.”
Is it about prostitution? Kidnapping? Workers in a field? In a restaurant? Does it have anything to do with the T-shirts selling for an almost unbelievably low price at a fast-fashion emporium? And how bad is the problem?
The answers are yes, no, maybe and we really don’t know. It’s complicated.