Human trafficking (or modern day slavery) is an issue impacting the entire world. Here in Atlanta, a primary area of human trafficking is the underground commercial sex economy (UCSE). Specifically, the commercial sexual exploitation of children (CSEC) is a growing concern. In a recent study conducted this April, the Urban Institute found that Atlanta is one of the primary cities for the UCSE (Urban Institute, 2014). In Atlanta, the commercial sex market is estimated at $290 million dollars a year. This rate of income is higher than both the illicit sales of guns ($146 million per year) and drugs ($117 million per year). About 374 girls are trafficked in the UCSE market in Atlanta every month. The average age of entry into the UCSE is between 12 and 14 years of age (Center for Public Policy, 2011). About 100 young girls are exploited nightly in Georgia. The problem is a scourge on our city and state.
The National Runaway Switchboard serves as the federally-designated national communication system for homeless and runaway youth. NRS, with the support of more than 150 volunteers, handles an average of 100,000 calls annually – more than 3 million calls since the organization’s inception. Through hotline and online services, NRS provides crisis intervention, referrals to local resources, and education and prevention services to youth, families, and community members throughout the country 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
ICE’s hotline to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity: (866) 347-2423 from the U.S. & Canada, (802) 872-6199 from anywhere in the world or complete an online tip form at http://www.ice.gov/exec/forms/hsi-tips/tips.asp.
If you are thinking about or are worried about a friend or loved one, or would like emotional support, the Lifeline network is available 24/7 across the U.S. Visit https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/talk-to-someone-now/ for more information.