ATLANTA, GA – Attorney General Chris Carr is encouraging all Georgians to join in recognizing this January as Human Trafficking Awareness Month. Throughout the month, the Office of the Attorney General will share information and resources to help support victims and to ultimately raise awareness of the state’s ongoing efforts to combat human trafficking in Georgia.
“Our Human Trafficking Prosecution Unit works vigorously to rescue victims and put buyers and traffickers behind bars,” said Carr. “Our efforts are further strengthened by the support provided by the Governor, First Lady and members of our Georgia General Assembly, and we value these partnerships. We would encourage all Georgians to take this month to learn more about human trafficking and what you can do to help end this criminal industry here in Georgia.”
Formed in 2019, the Attorney General’s Human Trafficking Prosecution Unit works closely with local, state and federal law enforcement officials to investigate and prosecute human trafficking cases. In 2021 alone, the Unit initiated 25 cases, arrested 9 individuals, investigated and prosecuted 51 defendants, and rescued and assisted 107 victims. Recent highlights include the following:
- On Jan. 7, 2022, Carr announced the indictment of one individual in Gwinnett County for Trafficking of Persons for Sexual Servitude. This indictment followed the successful completion of an undercover operation conducted by the Gwinnett County Sheriff’s Office Trafficking and Child Exploitation Unit with assistance from the Office of the Attorney General’s Human Trafficking Prosecution Unit.
- On Dec. 13, 2021, Carr announced the rescue of an underage victim and the arrest of four individuals in Fulton County for Human Trafficking and other charges following an extensive 10-month investigation. The Human Trafficking Prosecution Unit initiated its investigation after reviewing an alert issued by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. From this alert, the Unit was able to identify, locate and rescue the 14-year-old victim. The victim had been missing for approximately seven weeks at the time of the recovery in February 2021.
- On Oct. 8, 2021, Carr announced two lengthy prison sentences for two individuals convicted of Human Trafficking. The case involved a 16-year-old female and marked the first jury trial conviction for the Human Trafficking Prosecution Unit since its formation in 2019. Specifically, the defendants were sentenced to 30 and 20 years to be served in prison.
Though the number of partners is too extensive to list, the Office of the Attorney General would like to recognize the following for their valued support:
- U.S. Marshals Office
- Georgia Bureau of Investigation
- Criminal Justice Coordinating Council
- The GRACE Commission
- Victim services organizations, including Wellspring Living and the Georgia Center for Child Advocacy
Access Restriction and Vacatur Forms
Individuals who have been convicted of a criminal offense while being trafficked or as a result of being trafficked may petition for vacatur or record restriction. These remedies are intended to remove barriers to employment, housing and other opportunities, and hopefully help to heal the trauma experienced by sex and labor trafficking victims. The forms needed to complete the petition are provided by the Office of the Attorney General and can be found here.
Contact the National or Statewide Human Trafficking Hotline
- If you suspect human trafficking, call the National Human Trafficking Hotline toll free at (888) 373-7888.
- To report suspected human trafficking in Georgia, call the Statewide 24-Hour Human Trafficking Hotline at (866) 363-4842.
- If you have reason to believe that a victim is in imminent danger, call 911 or your local law enforcement to make a report.
- For more information on how to get help for both national and foreign-born victims of human trafficking, please visit www.endhtga.org.
For a comprehensive overview of human trafficking, Georgians should consider taking part in the First Lady's Human Trafficking Awareness Training. Members of the public are also encouraged to familiarize themselves with the red flags of human trafficking.