In springs 2011, State Rep. Ed Lindsey told Sandy Springs residents how metro Atlanta is a hub for human trafficking.
That May, during a town hall meeting he said, “Most of us in Sandy Springs and Buckhead don’t usually think about it, but it has turned out to be an enormous problem for our area.”
He explained, "Keep in mind this is not a situation where you are talking about these young people having a choice. They are brought into this by the use of drugs; the use of physical violence; by the use of threats of physical violence and deception.”
On Wednesday, Lindsey (R-Atlanta) and state Senator Renee Unterman (R-Buford) released a joint commission human trafficking report to raise awareness and stop such crimes, but the officials agree that more work must be done.
The report mentions an amendment to “the Mandatory Child Abuse Reporting Law by adding child prostitution to the forms of abuse...”
According to the commission report, since 2009, the Georgia Care Connection Office – a unit of the Governor’s Office for Children and Families – has had 462 referrals related to Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children. The Commission report says the GBI initiated 348 cases in the work unit that deals with child sex trafficking. And referenced data from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children that says "at least 100,000 American kids a year victimized through the practice of child prostitution."
Click here: Human Trafficking/Sexual Exploitation of Children in Sandy Springs
Although crimes may be relatively low locally, Sandy Springs has been proactive against crimes that sexually exploit children. A Sandy Springs detective works on Internet crime cases and investigations that involve the Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children (CSEC).
The City of Sandy Springs has a victim’s advocate that works within the police department.
Also in North Fulton, The Rotary Club of Roswell has a focus on raising awareness internationally of the human trafficking problem and has reached out to other Rotary clubs. Dave McCleary, president of Roswell Rotary Club was among several officials who spoke during two public meetings held by the commission on Dec. 21, 2012 and Jan. 11, 2013.
The commission report said the Fulton County District Attorney’s office currently has 10 CSEC cases either under indictment or awaiting indictment. Additionally, the DA’s office is investigating seven cases for possible charges. Dekalb County District Attorney’s Office has had six CSEC cases over the last year.
Georgia received a B grade in a 50-state study on a comprehensive legislative analysis of the human trafficking problem, the report said. It was the highest grade given and Georgia was one of seven states to receive it.
In a statement, Unterman said, “It is imperative we act now to address these horrendous crimes taking place all over our state and protect these young victims from future abuse.”
For more details see the attached report.