Today first lady Kemp’s GRACE Commission, which focuses on human trafficking, met for the first time.
It was a very somber and disturbing conversation with a survivor starting the meeting by sharing her story of how her own father trafficked her and sharing statistics like the average age of a victim in georgia…only 14.
The commission is made of the first lady, the GBI director, non profit leaders, and educators. Today they learned about the reach of trafficking in nearly all of georgia’s counties…particularly border counties like the CSRA and Savannah areas.
Legislators also addressed new bills to fight human trafficking — like raising the age for prostitution convictions because many of those working the streets are children who were trafficked. Many by those who they trusted most.
First lady Marty Kemp said, “36 percent was family and 15 percent was friends — half of these cases are family and friends. That’s disturbing which is why it’s so important that we reach out to educators and teachers so these chidlren feel safe having someone to talk to and to get help.”
Representative Bert Reeves said, “When our young Georgians end up in these situations, t’s not like one day they woke up and thought this is what I aspire to. Things have happened in their background that brought them to that point and often they’re victims of human trafficking.”
Now sex trafficking is only part of the picture. While it’s 95 percent of the human traffickign cases reported, it’s believed that there are an equal number of labor trafficking cases in the state too, particularly in georgia’s robust agricultural industry.