Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms and Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr marked Human Trafficking Awareness Month at the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport on Monday.
At the event, Bottoms spoke about the implications of human trafficking. Bottoms also announced her intention to appoint a Senior Fellow from the administration to develop a plan to end human trafficking in Atlanta, according to a city of Atlanta press release.
The Senior Fellow will identify stakeholders for cross-sector conversations and leverage city resources in support of this initiative. Additionally, they will work with Atlanta agencies including the Atlanta Police Department, the Homelessness Continuum-of-Care and the Atlanta Housing Authority. Bottoms expects to fill the position of Senior Fellow within the first 100 days.
“Every year, thousands of children, women and men fall prey to the insidious practice of human trafficking. Whether these victims are entrapped in or transported to Atlanta, we know that our city faces a human trafficking challenge disproportionate to its size,” Bottoms said in the press release. “I am pleased to announce that I will appoint a Senior Fellow within my Administration to further the City’s efforts to combat and eliminate this horrific practice. I am confident that together, we can be the strength for the powerless and the hope of the victims.”
Currently, the city has put forward efforts to prevent human trafficking and support trafficking victims by employing Special Victims officers within the APD and broadcasting and posting public service announcements throughout the Hartsfield-Jackson Airport.
Last year, Hartsfield-Jackson also signed a pledge committing to the Tourism Child-Protection Code of Conduct, an action plan to stamp out the sexual exploitation of children. Hartsfield-Jackson is the only airport in the world to sign this pledge, according to the city’s press release.
To increase public awareness of human trafficking, Bottoms has asked travelers and guests of Hartsfield-Jackson to look for any suspicious activities.
Travelers and guests are encouraged to call 911 if they see individuals who appear to be in a controlling or dominating relationship, or a child or young adult who appears malnourished or in distress. 911 calls made at Hartsfield-Jackson go directly to the airport’s Centralized Command and Control Center.