Lawmakers are pushing for human trafficking awareness training for healthcare workers

Michigan’s Junior U.S. Senator is leading a new push at the federal level to fight back against human trafficking.

Gary Peters is co-sponsoring legislation that calls for training healthcare workers to recognize the signs of human trafficking.

It’s called the Trafficking Awareness Training for Health Care Act of 2015.

Peters said people are often shocked to learn that Michigan is one of the worst states in the nation for human trafficking.

“It’s important to have a federal framework particularly for trafficking because by nature trafficking crosses state lines and goes across many states. And having a federal framework is very important to deal with the interstate movement of individuals,” Peters said.

According to the Michigan Human Trafficking Task Force, human trafficking is the third largest criminal enterprise in the world.

The bill calls for training healthcare workers to recognize signs of human trafficking.

“Individuals who are most likely to come in contact with a victim of trafficking will be a healthcare professional,” Peters said, “And yet many of our current medical schools or nursing schools do not train their students as to how to recognize a victim of trafficking.”

Peters said so far the bill has strong bipartisan support. It’s already been approved by the House, and it’s now awaiting a vote by the Senate.

ON THE WEB:
Michigan Human Trafficking Taskforce resources http://cj.msu.edu/programs/human-trafficking/