January 25, 2022

Join the Fight to End Human Trafficking

January is National Human Trafficking Prevention Month, when we recognize the efforts of local and state governments, law enforcement officials, non-profit organizations, communities of faith, and private citizens to raise awareness and bring an end to human trafficking.

Human traffickers use coercion, deception, or force to entrap innocent people in modern day slavery. This evil industry targets the most vulnerable – children who have run away from home, people with few job skills, and many others – and forces them into sexual or labor servitude. Commercial sexual exploitation of children is a serious and rising threat to the safety and well-being of our country's children. Most victims are first exploited between 12 and 14 years old.

The top priority of the Georgia Department of Human Services’ Division of Family & Children Services is protecting children and youth under 18. DFCS has an internal team of Human Trafficking Regional Specialists that assist staff with information about training, policies, and protocols so that everyone is better prepared to serve victims.

One of our most successful initiatives has been the DFCS Human Trafficking Providers Summit, which was started in 2019 by Dr. Gabrielle Starr. This summit brings together DHS staff and multiple state agencies to address the complex and challenging needs of survivors of commercial sexual exploitation. The 4th Annual DFCS Human Trafficking Providers Summit will be held this Thursday, Jan. 27.

Each one of us can play a part in the fight to end human trafficking. Getting informed and being aware of the red flags is the first step. First Lady Marty Kemp and the GRACE Commission (Georgians for Refuge, Action, Compassion and Education) worked with the Department of Administrative Services (DOAS) Human Resources Administration (HRA) to provide Human Trafficking Awareness Training for state employees and the general public. This training will teach you how to spot the signs of trafficking and report suspicious activity to the authorities. You can access the training here. If you haven’t already, please take the time to complete this training, or share it with friends and family. We need more eyes and ears on the ground, ready to help in this fight.

If you have suspicions or information about human trafficking in Georgia, please contact Georgia’s Statewide 24-Hour Human Trafficking Hotline at 866-363-4842. If you have reason to believe someone is in imminent danger, call 911.

For more information on how you can help victims of human trafficking, please visit endhtga.org.