ATLANTA, GA – Attorney General Chris Carr is recognizing this January as Human Trafficking Prevention Month and Jan. 11, 2024, as Human Trafficking Awareness Day by providing an update on the work of his Human Trafficking Prosecution Unit and encouraging all Georgians to join in the fight to end human trafficking in the state.
“Georgia is leading the nation in the fight to combat human trafficking, and lives have forever been changed as a result,” said Carr. “With our Human Trafficking Prosecution Unit, we have recovered Georgia’s missing and endangered children and pursued both buyers and sellers with record success. We’re grateful for our strong partnerships with Governor Brian Kemp, First Lady Marty Kemp, the GRACE Commission and the Georgia General Assembly, and we will continue to work together to protect and support survivors throughout our state.”
Updates from the Attorney General’s Human Trafficking Prosecution Unit
In 2019, with the support of Governor Brian Kemp, First Lady Marty Kemp and leaders in the General Assembly, Carr created the first-of-its-kind statewide Human Trafficking Prosecution Unit.
Complete with dedicated prosecutors, investigators, analysts, a victim advocate and paralegal, this Unit works with local, state, and federal law enforcement to arrest and prosecute offenders and rescue victims of sex trafficking.
Last year alone, the Attorney General’s Human Trafficking Prosecution Unit rescued and assisted 129 victims, led and assisted 81 case investigations, and secured 29 new convictions, with all guilty defendants sentenced to prison.
The Unit also obtained a first-of-its-kind indictment involving the trafficking of an adult female with a developmental disability and its first conviction of a hotel clerk who assisted in the trafficking of an underage girl in Fulton County.
In addition, the Human Trafficking Prosecution Unit successfully prosecuted a 10-defendant case in Fulton County, with every individual sentenced to prison for their involvement in the trafficking of a 17-year-old female. This case stems from “Operation Not Forgotten,” during which this victim was recovered from a hotel in Fulton County. At the time, the child had been reported as missing from Kansas City, Missouri. In total, 13 people have been charged in the trafficking of this underage victim. Along with all 10 men who have already pleaded guilty, this also includes the indictment of Terry Florence in DeKalb County and Denorris Hutchinson and Natasha Bridges in Fulton County.
Throughout 2023, the Attorney General’s Human Trafficking Prosecution Unit worked closely with his Gang Prosecution Unit to secure the indictment of nine individuals and the conviction of four others in cases involving allegations of both human trafficking and criminal gang activity.
Overall, Carr's Human Trafficking Prosecution Unit has 39 defendants who are currently under indictment, with some facing charges in multiple jurisdictions around the state.
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 victims of sex and labor trafficking. The forms needed to complete the petition are provided by the Office of the Attorney General and can be found here.
For additional information, watch this PSA from Carr and First Lady Marty Kemp.
For a comprehensive overview of human trafficking, Georgians are encouraged to take part in First Lady Marty Kemp’s Human Trafficking Awareness Training. The training is free and available online.
The Criminal Justice Coordinating Council also offers a number of industry-specific resources, such as training opportunities for those in hospitality or law enforcement.
For educators and school resource officers, the Attorney General’s Human Trafficking Prosecution Unit has put together some important tips on how to recognize, prevent and report human trafficking among students.
Additional trainings are available through the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Blue Campaign and the Georgia Center for Child Advocacy.
If you suspect human trafficking, call the National Human Trafficking Hotline toll free at 1-888-373-7888.
To report suspected human trafficking in Georgia, call the Statewide 24-Hour Human Trafficking Hotline at 1-866-ENDHTGA (1-866-363-4842).
If you have reason to believe that a victim is in imminent danger, call 911 or your local law enforcement agency to file a report.
For more information on how to get help for both national and foreign-born victims of human trafficking, visit www.endhtga.org.