Georgia Requires Human Trafficking Hotline Posted in Places of BusinessPrint This Post
Human trafficking is something that happens out there, but never in our own neighborhood, right? After all, how could slavery still exist in this century? How could that possibly be a reality in small-town Georgia?
I first heard about the realities of human trafficking while traveling overseas. The thought of thousands of young women and men disappearing from remote places across the globe haunted me. Knowing the fate of these young people became even more heartbreaking when I learned that many of them left their families and home for the promise of work and a better life, only to find themselves sold as a commodity and subjected to unimaginable emotional and physical abuse.
When I returned to the States, this sobering reality stuck with me. I began to see everything through a new lens. Interstate billboards, sketchy advertisements, silent, long faces of young women at a highway rest stop—all of these got me thinking. Perhaps the brutal realities of human trafficking are closer than I originally believed. For a rural Georgia girl—who used to associate rest stops and billboards with road trips and vacations and always believed that my small town epitomized the “land of the free”—this left a mark.
Thankfully, policymakers and local organizations in large cities were already working, and earlier this year the Georgia House and Senate passed House Bill 141 requiring “certain businesses and establishments to post a model notice so as to enable persons who are the subject of human trafficking to obtain help and services.”
All community leaders in the state are encouraged to help businesses and agencies post this notice provided by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.
I can’t wait to see the news articles published several years from now stating how thousands of young women and men were able to escape slavery because normal, everyday Georgians publicized the hotline that connected them to freedom.
Print out the hotline flyer or forward it online and ask the businesses in your community to post it in a visible place.
Here’s more information on human trafficking in Georgia, the United States, and worldwide: