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Office of County Executive
Mark A. Hackel

Contact: Tom Lehrer

Office: 586-463-3523

Email: lehrer@macombgov.org

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

November 4, 2022

Human trafficking documentary 'It's Happening Right Here' premieres in Macomb County

Officials from the Macomb County Anti-Trafficking Task Force ("MCAT") and the Genesee Human Oppression Strike Team ("G.H.O.S.T.") hosted a premiere screening of the human trafficking documentary ‘It’s Happening Right Here’ at Emagine Theater in Macomb on Thursday, November 3. The film, which was shown in select theaters nationwide, highlights human trafficking taking place in cities, neighborhoods and homes across the country. It aims to help audiences learn about the prevalence of the crime and how to recognize at-risk children while protecting loved ones at home.

“We recognize that human trafficking is a concern for all of us,” said Macomb County Executive Mark A. Hackel. “Anyone can be a victim of this crime. With law enforcement and advocacy groups, like our Macomb County Anti-Trafficking Task Force (MCAT), we can continue to educate our community and prevent these criminal activities from happening right here in Macomb County. And as always, if you see something, say something.”

‘It’s Happening Right Here’ was created by Emmy Award-winning director Nick Nanton, who saw hope in the organizations fighting to end trafficking and those sharing their experiences to protect others.

"Making this film was an eye-opening experience for me and I'm so grateful to the survivors, law enforcement agencies and non-profit organizations that took part in filming," said Nick Nanton, CEO of DNA Films. "Thanks to their interviews, we are able to inform about the dangers of online grooming, trafficking and more, while sharing preventative tools and ultimately a message of hope. We are excited to get this film out to the world."

The latest statistics about human trafficking and sexual exploitation show that:

  • There are almost 28 million people trapped in forced labor and sexual exploitation worldwide, a 10.8 percent increase since 2016. (International Labour Organization, WalkFree, International Organization for Migration)
  • More than 3.3 million of these people are children. (International Labour Organization, WalkFree, International Organization for Migration)
  • There was a 97.5 percent increase in online child sexual enticement reports during the pandemic. (National Center for Missing and Exploited Children)

“Human Trafficking has grown into a substantial problem throughout our area,” said Macomb County Sheriff Anthony Wickersham. “The Macomb County Sheriff’s Office is working to put a team together to combat this illegal activity. This team will work together to locate and prosecute those involved in these illegal activities and bring victims to safety. If you suspect human trafficking is happening near you, please contact your local law enforcement.”

“Macomb County and Sheriff Wickersham are leading the way in southeast Michigan against the fastest growing criminal enterprise in the world, human trafficking,” said Genessee County Sheriff Christopher Swanson. “This initiative is proven to save lives and give a powerful voice to victims. I stand with them on this courageous journey.”

Individuals experiencing or witnessing human trafficking should report any and all activities to the 24/7 National Human Trafficking Hotline by calling (888) 373-7888 or texting 233733 (Text "HELP" or "INFO"). For additional information on human trafficking, including statistics and resources, visit https://humantraffickinghotline.org/.

Images from the film premiere in Macomb County are available here. A trailer for the documentary can be viewed here.

 

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General Media Inquires - please contact Tom Lehrer at 586-463-3523