Georgia elected officials tackle human trafficking, announcing multi-prong approach

Published: Jul. 11, 2022 at 5:16 PM EDT
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ATLANTA, Ga. (CBS46) - State and city leaders are calling attention to human trafficking, also known as modern-day slavery. With the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta airport being one of the world’s busiest airports, leaders now say they can do more to stop the crime, including educating passengers.

Officials say they need to put an end to what they call the fastest-growing illegal industry in the world.

Inside the airport during the round-table meeting, a terrified mother spoke to a room full of city and state leaders, begging for more help and resources for her 13-year-old daughter.

“She’s been a victim of sexual trafficking since last year,” the mom explained.

This was all part of the discussion during Monday’s roundtable on sex trafficking.

“The first thing we have to do is stop pretending like it doesn’t occur. This is the ugliness that people don’t want to discuss,” said Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis.

Willis announced a multi-prong approach to fighting the crime which often targets girls between 6th and 8th grade.

The legislative priorities include training every single law enforcement agency to recognize human trafficking victims, creating sting operations with law enforcement that would specifically focus on intercepting coercion attempts on social media, and holding hotels accountable if they are aiding and abetting sex traffickers

“They are profiting over this ugliness. now that’s not most of your hotels, that’s not even the majority. But if it’s one hotel, it’s one hotel too many,” said Willis.

Also, in a new partnership with Delta airlines, a new PSA will show passengers how to identify sex trafficking victims that will soon be played on board.