Olens to put a stop to human trafficking, national awareness day - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Ga. attorney general recognizes National Human Trafficking Awareness Day

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ATLANTA (WTOC) -

January 11 is National Human Trafficking Awareness Day. Attorney General Olens is committed to putting an end to human trafficking in Georgia.

Human trafficking is a brutal, complex and widespread crime in which vulnerable individuals are sold into commercial sex and/or forced to engage in activity against their will. Many of the victims are children. In fact, the average age of children forced into the sex trade is between 12 and 14.

Human trafficking happens in Georgia and is often perpetrated in plain sight. Olens released the following statement in observance of National Human Trafficking Awareness Day in a news release:

"Human trafficking is modern day slavery, plain and simple. It robs children of their innocence and dignity. We have made important strides in Georgia against human trafficking with the 2011 passage of a stronger human trafficking law, but the fight is far from over. We must continue to educate our citizens about the atrocities that occur in their own communities and address the problem of demand. Now is the time for action, and I encourage Georgians to take a stand against human trafficking in our state."

In 2011, Attorney General Sam Olens joined forces with Senator Renee Unterman and Representative Edward Lindsey to advocate for a stronger human trafficking law in Georgia. The law HB 200 went into effect on July, 1 2011. HB 200:

  • Substantially increases the punishment for human trafficking from a possible one year sentence to a minimum of ten years in prison. If the trafficking causes a minor to commit sex acts by coercion or deception, human traffickers now face 25 years to life in prison, up from maximum sentence of 20 years. Offenders can also be fined up to $100,000.
  • Takes the important step of no longer allowing the age of consent (16) or lack of knowledge of the age of the victim to be used as a defense.
  • Authorizes asset forfeiture for property derived from or used in trafficking.
  • Provides training for law enforcement.

Attorney General Olens launched a public awareness campaign, Georgia's Not Buying It, targeting demand. 

For more information, click here.

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