ATLANTA — Recently, Shared Hope International awarded Georgia an "A" on the strength of its laws to combat sex trafficking — an improvement from the "B" received in 2018 and the "C" from the first report card in 2011.
"I am proud of the work Georgia has done to earn this ranking," first lady Marty Kemp said. "While this recognition is a major accomplishment for our state, our work is not finished. We will continue the fight to dismantle this criminal enterprise and restore the lives of the countless victims. We will not stop until the last victim is rescued — because one person trapped in the shadows is one too many."
"This ranking is a direct result of the hard work of our first lady, the GRACE Commission, Attorney General Chris Carr, the General Assembly, law enforcement and nonprofit organizations," Gov. Brian Kemp said. "We have been working hard over the past year to raise awareness, strengthen our laws, heal victims and take these criminals off our streets, and we look forward to continuing the fight to end this evil industry."
“We must continue to do all we can to stop the spread of this crime in our state and nation, and our new Human Trafficking Prosecution Unit will stand shoulder to shoulder with the first lady’s GRACE Commission, law enforcement officials and our many private sector and non-profit partners to carry out that mission,” Carr said. “We commend all who, over the years, have helped Georgia to achieve this top score.”
Since 2011, Shared Hope International has graded states based on the strength of their laws related to the commercial sexual exploitation of children. Grades are based on an annual review of state laws as analyzed under the Protected Innocence Challenge Legislative Framework.
The report card addresses state laws related to the following:
- Preventing domestic minor sex trafficking through reducing demand
- Rescuing and restoring victims through improved training on identification
- Establishing protocols and facilities for victim placement
- Mandating appropriate services and shelter
- Incorporating trauma-reducing mechanisms into the justice system
- Georgia scored a 96/100 with the following scores in each category:
- Criminalization of Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking: 10/10
- Criminal Provisions for Demand: 24.5/25
- Criminal Provisions for Traffickers: 15/15
- Criminal Provisions for Facilitators: 7.5/10
- Protective Provisions for the Child Victims: 24.5/27.5
- Criminal Justice Tools for Investigation and Prosecution: 14.5/15