Atlanta mayor, Georgia governor team up to fight human trafficking
ATLANTA, Ga. (Atlanta News First) - Mayor Andre Dickens and Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp joined forces Tuesday in an effort that transcends party lines – fighting modern-day slavery.
Dickens, a Democrat, and Kemp, a Republican, joined airport officials at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport for a news conference on the last day of National Human Trafficking Prevention Month.
“If you come after our children, we will be coming after you,” said the governor.
Georgia’s First Lady Marty Kemp, who has advocated for human trafficking victims and survivors since her husband first took office in 2019, was also in attendance, along with several state and local leaders.
“If I remember correctly, the mayor said so proudly last year that he considered us friends,” said Mrs. Kemp, “so I knew then that we were going to have a great partnership working together, and I appreciate that.”
Together, they highlighted the importance of partnerships and collaboration in strengthening anti-trafficking actions and addressed the region’s sexual exploitation, forced labor, and the work they’ve done to try to prevent it.
Dickens said abusers often hide in plain sight – like at the airport -- which nearly 100 million passengers come through each year.
“Sadly, our success makes us a target for traffickers,” Dickens said. “All of those people coming here ends up, some of these individuals are in the business of buying and selling human beings.”
Traffickers are starting to get the message, according to Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr. He said his office’s new human trafficking prosecution unit has already rescued 116 victims. He thanked some Georgia-based companies for the role they’re playing in fighting human trafficking.
“Think about it. UPS is in every single neighborhood around the world. Think about what that training does,” Carr said, while also praising Atlanta-based Delta Air Lines and its human trafficking training for flight attendants.
The airport soon will release a public service announcement on human trafficking on its social media channels. The PSA will feature media mogul Tyler Perry.
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