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Human Trafficking & Georgia’s Anti-Sex Trafficking Lobby Day

February 15, 2018

If you or someone you know is involved in any form of human trafficking, call the National Human Trafficking Hotline Resource Center at 1-888-373-7888.

For treatment and care for child victims of sexual exploitation, contact Georgia Cares at 1-844-842-3678.

Human Trafficking

In the last few years, it seems we’ve heard a lot more about human trafficking than we have in years past. Frequently, we hear the news reporting on human trafficking cases and learn of legislation that’s fighting to end all forms of human trafficking.

Human trafficking is a crime and considered a form of modern-day slavery.

As of June 2017, the National Human Trafficking Hotline Resource Center (NHTHRC) reported there were:

  • 36,270 human trafficking cases reported since December 2007
  • 162,660 Signals reported since December 2007 (Signals are phone calls, online tips, or emails received)

Human Trafficking in Georgia

You might have heard that Atlanta is one of the top cities known for human trafficking. Since Georgia is home to the largest international airport in the United States it makes Atlanta the unfortunate host to a trafficker’s ideal location.

As of June 2017, the NHTHRC reported Georgia had received 398 calls and 150 reported human trafficking cases. What’s more is, of the 150 reported human trafficking cases in Georgia, 104 were considered sex trafficking cases while the remaining were classified as labor trafficking, sex and labor, and some that were not specified.

While we often think of sex trafficking happening to females, men represent a large population as well. In 2017, there were 3,698 female victims and 607 male victims. And while no one of any age should be forced into doing something against their will, statistics show that traffickers are targeting minors more often and the entry age is getting younger.

To combat this epidemic, advocates and legislators have worked tirelessly to pass laws that place more stringent policies on trafficking and stricter penalties when caught.

Georgia Legislation to Stop Human Trafficking

In 2011, Georgia passed House Bill 200 to further discourage human trafficking, increase penalties, and provide training to law enforcement for better understanding of how to handle human trafficking cases.

More recently, in 2017, Senate Bill 104 was passed requiring all government buildings and websites to post the human trafficking hotline notice with the phone number to the National Human Trafficking Resource Center and Georgia Cares. The Georgia Bureau of Investigation has posted this notice on their website and a link has been added to the footer of all state agency websites.

Sex Trafficking

Sex trafficking occurs when an individual is forced or coerced into participating in commercial sex. Additionally, anyone under the age of 18 engaging in commercial sex is considered to be a victim of human trafficking, regardless of force or coercion.

Sex traffickers often target victims who are economically less fortunate, abandoned, bullied, or seeking relationships. They makes promises of a better life, luxury items, and happiness, but then use violence, threats, and other forms of manipulation to keep their victims involved in the sex trade for their own profit. Even though sex trafficking may feel like a distant industry, it’s happening right here in our country and our neighborhoods.

In 2017, there were 3,189 reported cases of sex trafficking in the United States. A majority of these cases were female and a staggering number of cases included minors (minors: 1,118; adults: 1,934).

Georgia’s Anti-Sex Trafficking Lobby Day 2018

Tuesday, February 20, 2018
9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

During each year’s legislative session, lobbyists and sex trafficking advocates come together for Georgia’s Anti-Sex Trafficking Lobby Day to show support for this cause. This annual event is held at the Historic Freight Depot downtown Atlanta from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Tuesday, February 20. The event is put together for community members, advocates, and lobbyists to have further discussions and fight to end sex trafficking. It’s a time for attendees who are passionate about this cause to show support for legislation that protects children and adults against sex trafficking and sexual exploitation.

If you’ve been looking for a way to be an advocate for anti-sex trafficking, this is a great place to start. You must register to attend the event and lunch will be served following Lobby Day.

Anti-Human Trafficking Resources

The National Human Trafficking Hotline Resource Center has a host of resources detailing what human trafficking is, giving nationwide and state-specific statistics, and sharing what you can do if you suspect trafficking is happening around you.

The Department of Homeland Security works to investigate human trafficking cases, identify traffickers, and protect victims. From their website, you can:

The Blue Campaign

In 2010, the Department of Homeland Security launched the Blue Campaign as a unified initiative to combat human trafficking, protect victims, and raise public awareness. The Blue Campaign also offers training and educational resources to law enforcement agencies around the country to help increase detection and investigation of human trafficking.

#WearBlueDay

January 11th is known as #WearBlueDay to show support for the Blue Campaign and raise public awareness of human trafficking. Supporters and advocates around the world are encouraged to take a picture of themselves wearing blue and tag it with #WearBlueDay and #WeWearBlueBecause to increase awareness for human trafficking.

Chelsea Stephens

About the Author

Chelsea Stephens is the Marketing & Training Lead for Digital Services Georgia. A Georgia native herself, Chelsea enjoys writing on topics that citizens and visitors of Georgia can enjoy and learn from. 

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