Georgia Posts Human Trafficking Notices

The issue of human trafficking is getting increased exposure in Augusta and across the state of Georgia. State Attorney General Sam Olens estimates that more than 28,000 men knowingly or unknowingly have sex with prostituted girls each year in Georgia and that every month, 200 to 500 girls, mostly ages 12 to 14, are commercially exploited statewide.

A new law requires bars, hotels, hospitals, adult entertainment businesses, airports, bus stations, truck stops, job recruitment centers, interstate rest areas, massage parlors and tattoo studios to post the notices that list the hot line number in conspicuous places. It also imposes a fine of up to $5,000 for businesses that fail to inform victims of a 24-hour, toll-free hot line they can call for help.
“Are you or someone you know being sold for sex or made to work for little or no pay and cannot leave?” the notices read. “Call the National Human Trafficking Resource Center at 1-888-373-7888 for help. All victims of slavery and human trafficking have rights and are protected by international, federal, and state law.”This law follows two years of heightened human trafficking enforcement in Georgia. In July 2011, Georgia substantially increased the punishment for human trafficking from a possible one-year sentence to a minimum of 10 years in prison. If the trafficking causes a minor to commit sex acts by coercion or deception, traffickers face 25 years to life in prison, up from a maximum sentence of 20 years. Offenders can also be fined up to $100,000.Learn more at Wesley Brown’s The Augusta Chronicle article: Human trafficking notices debut in Augusta, across Georgia.

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