Mayor Keisha Bottoms joined Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr and Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL) officials today to mark Human Trafficking Awareness Month. At the event, Mayor Bottoms informed the public about the dangers of – and toll from – human trafficking.
As part of the Administration’s commitment to combat human trafficking, Bottoms also announced her intention to appoint a senior fellow to develop and implement a comprehensive blueprint to end human trafficking in Atlanta.
“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. “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.”
This Cabinet-level appointment will be charged with identifying stakeholders for cross-sector conversations, and planning and leveraging City resources in support of this initiative. The Senior Fellow will engage stakeholder groups in communities of color and immigrant communities to identify strategies for prevention and interventions for at-risk individuals and victims.
The Senior Fellow will also work in collaboration with City agencies such as the Atlanta Police Department, Office of Immigrant Affairs, Human Services, Constituent Services, Equity and Resilience as well as the Homelessness Continuum-of-Care and the Atlanta Housing Authority.
The Administration expects to fill the position of Senior Fellow within the first 100 days.
The City’s current efforts to prevent human trafficking and support trafficking victims include Special Victims officers within the Atlanta Police Department (APD) and preventative measures at ATL such as signage placed in all restrooms listing identifiable signs of a trafficked person and the telephone number for the National Human Trafficking Hotline.
ATL also broadcasts a public service announcement about human trafficking on monitors in all terminals. In May of 2017, the airport trained airline and airport employees to observe passengers and identify possible victims of human trafficking.
Last year, ATL 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.
To increase public awareness of human trafficking, Bottoms is asking travelers and guests of Hartsfield-Jackson to remain vigilant of 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.