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Measures unveiled to fight human trafficking in Georgia

Backers: Bills would close loopholes, help victims

ATLANTA — On Tuesday, Gov. Brian Kemp unveiled a package of three bills that would attack human trafficking in Georgia. The bills would close loopholes that officials say have kept the sex industry afloat.  

Human trafficking has been a front-burner initiative by the Kemp administration. These bills are designed to attack the problem and help its victims.

Georgia officials say Atlanta has one of America’s worst human trafficking problems and that most of its victims are children. 

The new legislation would: 

  • Require felony human trafficking offenders to register as sex offenders – making their names and addresses public indefinitely.
  • Close a loophole, making it a crime for foster parents to have sexual contact with young people in their custody.
  • Revoke indefinitely commercial drivers licenses of people who used their commercial vehicles in sex trafficking.
  • Let human trafficking survivors restrict from public view or wipe away their criminal records for prostitution.

"I think closing the loopholes will give survivors and opportunity to thrive in their life and I think it will actually get the traffickers and the johns off the streets," said Nikki, a human trafficking victim, who declined to give her last name.  She was at the governor's office for the announcement.

Backers expect the legislation to encounter little resistance at the Capitol.

"Who could argue this issue? Who could vote against this? To help survivors hold bad actors accountable," said First Lady Marty Kemp, who leads a state commission on human trafficking "And you think about these children. Some of them are nine years old when they’re taken. Less than that. How could anybody want to be against that?"

Last year, an anti-human trafficking bill passed the state House 147 to 4, and passed the Senate unanimously.


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