Georgia leaders announce new unit dedicated to fight against human trafficking

Georgia News

On Friday, Georgia leaders announced their plan to fight human trafficking. Georgia has the 8th highest human trafficking rate in the country according to the National Human Trafficking Hotline. Often, children are the victims of  sex trafficking.

Governor Brian Kemp announced the financial commitment that shows Georgia leaders plan to crack down on traffickers. On Friday, at the capitol in Atlanta, he shared about the new unit that will to protect victims and lock up those who buy and sell people, primarily for sex. 

Governor Kemp started the press conference by describing a sad contrast. 

“We are the best state in the country for business. We’re an economic powerhouse and a state with great promise for so many, but sadly we are also a state with some of the highest human trafficking rates in the country,” Governor Kemp said. 

Gov. Kemp points out the average age of a human trafficking victim in Georgia is younger than 15. 

“There are people in almost every county in our state preying upon and taking advantage of our children,” Gov. Kemp said. 

Attorney General Chris Carr has the authority to prosecute the human trafficking, but his office has not had the resources to do so; however, that will change in 2020. 

“We took historic action and allocated $370,000 dollars in the fiscal year 2020 budget to the Attorney Generals office allowing them to create the first of it’s kind human trafficking prosecution unit,” Gov. Kemp explains. 

Attorney General Carr says they will hire at least 5 new people– 2 prosecutors, a criminal investigator, a crime analyst and a victims advocate. The unit will work with local law enforcement here in our area and across the state. 

“Today’s announcement says to buyers and traffickers, the state of Georgia stands unified to put you out of business and behind bars where you belong,” said Carr. 

Local district Attorney Natalie Paine says she is excited the state has taken this important step in combating human trafficking and she looks forward to working with the new unit on this critical issue. 

You can report signs of human trafficking by calling 1-888-373-7888. You can also text 233733.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.