ATLANTA, Ga. (WJBF) – Human trafficking is one of the fastest growing crimes in the world.
That’s why Georgia’s First Lady Marty Kemp set up the Grace Commission — the Georgians for Refuge, Action, Compassion and Education Commission — to end sex trafficking in the state.
Atlanta Bureau Chief Archith Seshadri sat down exclusively with Georgia’s First Lady Marty Kemp on her initiative to fight modern day slavery.
You may have passed him in the street. She could be trapped right next door.
“She was robbed of her childhood, she never went to football games, homecomings, school – she had no normalcy. It just makes you want to hug them you are here to help,” Marty Kemp said.
“We didn’t even know it was an issue but we were moved by a family by this,” Georgia Governor Brian Kemp added.
“The research says its in 145 of 159 counties – it’s an 159 counties,” Marty Kemp said.
They’re victims of human trafficking.
“It’s modern day slavery – the average age is a 14-year-old child. I mean it’s horrific what’s going on. We need people to be our eyes and ears to report to law enforcement,” Brian Kemp said.
A new study says 85 percent of victims are U.S. citizens, mostly runaways. Georgia Cares said more than half of the victims are trafficked by family or friends.
“Everybody has a story and everyone has a different story. A lot of them were family members or friends that trafficked them that they trusted,” Marty Kemp said.
Governor Kemp has rolled out training for 80,000 state employees to look for key signs.
“Having someone speak for you, victims don’t wear shoes,” Marty Kemp said.
First Lady Marty Kemp said we need more recovery centers in the state to help victims transition back into normal life.
“We only have 70 beds in the state and have 700 calls or more – and we owe to these individuals who have been treated so terribly to be able to acclimate into life,” Marty Kemp said. “They have a chance at a better life”
Georgia is a hot bed for human trafficking because of the easy access to interstates and a major international airport.
If you do see something suspicious, please call the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 1-888-373-7888 or text 233-733.