Human trafficking in Georgia: GBI and CJCC publish full reports - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Human trafficking in Georgia: GBI and CJCC publish full reports

(WTVM) -

Human trafficking does occur in Georgia.

This statement opens up the key findings in a 42 page report released by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) entitled Human Trafficking in Georgia: A Survey of Law Enforcement.

On Thursday, May 1, both the GBI and the Georgia Criminal Justice Coordinating Council (CJCC) released in-depth reports assessing the current state human trafficking crimes and responses in the state of Georgia.

"Human trafficking is a modern-day form of slavery involving the illegal trade of people for exploitation or commercial gain," according to the US Department of Homeland Security.  

This criminal activity takes the form of sex trafficking as well as labor trafficking, and victims are both adults and minors, according to the GBI report, which also states that only a few of the reported cases were labor cases.

The GBI says Georgia's transportation infrastructure throughout the state, including the major highways, ports, and international airport, enable the easy movement of human trafficking victims.

"The magnitude of the human trafficking problem in Georgia and the greater southeastern United States region is both difficult to measure and perhaps even more difficult to combat," the GBI report states. "The transient and elicit nature of the crime complicates investigations, and many law enforcement agencies are unaware that trafficking may be occurring in their communities."

The 206 Georgia law enforcement agencies that participated in the GBI's survey from April 15, 2013 to August 31, 2013, reported a total of 190 cases of human trafficking in which at least one victim was identified. However, there was often more than one victim involved. Of those 190 investigations, the majority involved the sexual exploitation of children.

The CJCC study entitled Assessing the Scope and Availability of Services for Human Trafficking Victims Among Georgia's Victims' Services Providers named several needs as recommendations for further confronting the issue of human trafficking in the state of Georgia:

-The need for better data collection around human trafficking
-The need for better victim identification and coordinated service provision statewide
-The need for cross-agency collaboration and training to identify and serve human trafficking victims
-The need for greater community outreach to increase awareness about human trafficking victim services

"Public awareness of human trafficking is extremely important," the CJCC report states. "For the human trafficking problem to be properly addressed, and the victims to be properly identified and served, awareness needs to improve on all fronts."

Read the full GBI report on human trafficking in the state of Georgia here.

Read the full CJCC report on human trafficking in the state of Georgia here.  

Copyright 2014 WTVM. All rights reserved.

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