By Jessica Mathews /

A local lawmaker has introduced a bi-partisan plan that aims to combat human trafficking in Michigan.

State Representative Ann Bollin announced a bi-partisan plan that she says will support survivors of human trafficking and help them rebuild their lives after escaping their captors. The measures were said to be inspired by testimony given by survivors and others during a recent hearing of the Health and Human Services budget subcommittee, of which Bollin is a member. The Brighton Township Republican commented that human trafficking is happening in Michigan and they need to take action to give victims hope and empower survivors to heal and move forward with their lives.

The plan would expand the types of criminal convictions that can be set aside if a crime was committed because someone is a victim of human trafficking, allow human trafficking victims who were forced to engage in criminal activity the opportunity to use their victimization as an affirmative defense in court, allow juvenile offenses committed by a young victim of trafficking to be expunged from their criminal record, change references of “prostitution” to “commercial sexual activity” in state law, and update and clarify several court procedures for human trafficking cases.

Bollin said they’re committed to updating state laws and removing barriers so survivors of human trafficking can move on from the terrible experiences they have endured. She added that the reforms would ensure that vulnerable women, children and men who have been exploited are not wrongly penalized.

A press release states that human trafficking is one of the fastest-growing crimes in the world - second only to drug trafficking - as the highest yielding form of crime, according to the U.S. Department of State. It says approximately $87 (m) million is made per day from sex trafficking transactions.

Bollin’s plan has been referred to the House Judiciary Committee for consideration.