CareSource forms partnerships to address human trafficking in Georgia
Joining forces to combat human trafficking and support victims.
There are 1.5 million human trafficking victims in the United States, most of which are children, with the average age of victims ranging from 12 to 14 years old. Home to a complex interstate system and the busiest airport in the world, Georgia’s location makes it a prime target for trafficking. Since 2007, the national human trafficking hotline has identified 11,038 victims in Georgia, which has the 7th highest human trafficking rate in the nation. In fact, the Federal Bureau of Investigation recently named Atlanta as one of the top 14 cities with abnormally high rates of human trafficking.
To help combat the threat of human trafficking in Georgia, CareSource has partnered with and invested in Rescuing Hope and the Georgia Sheriffs’ Association – two organizations committed to tackling the evil of human trafficking and supporting victims every step of the way.
CareSource donated $100,000 to support Rescuing Hope’s mission to raise awareness about sex trafficking, educate potential victims and first responders and empower advocates and survivors. CareSource also doubled down on this investment and made a $50,000 contribution to the Georgia Sheriffs’ Association that will help train law enforcement officers to recognize the signs of human trafficking, identify potential victims and develop the most effective strategies to fight against traffickers and rescue victims.
To highlight this partnership and our combined efforts to crack down on human trafficking in the state, CareSource hosted a roundtable with Rescuing Hope and the Georgia Sheriffs’ Association headlined by Governor Brian Kemp and First Lady Marty Kemp. The Governor and First Lady have been key leaders and voices in this fight – championing reforms and spearheading numerous pieces of legislation designed to raise awareness to human trafficking, provide training resources for Georgians and increase penalties for offenders.
During the roundtable, the First Lady discussed the Georgians for Refuge, Action, Compassion, and Education Commission which was created to combat the threat of human trafficking. It is comprised of public officials, law enforcement, faith-based institutions and numerous organizations that work together to tackle human trafficking, seek justice for victims and hold bad faith actors accountable for their actions.
Governor and First Lady Kemp also discussed SB 42, a bill recently signed into law that increases mandatory fines for businesses that do not post the anti-human trafficking hotline and necessary information required by Georgia law. Their commitment to streamlining communication between public, private and non-profit sectors has moved the needle significantly and furthered the fight against human trafficking in our state.
The First Lady also developed training to help state employees recognize potential signs of trafficking and protocols for identifying victims and providing them with the help they need. At CareSource, Rescuing Hope helped us implement this training for our employees, and it has helped our team better understand the warning signs and implications for our members.
We also recognized the need to bring a full-time expert onto our staff to help us develop an anti-human trafficking program to serve CareSource members. Victims of human trafficking often suffer from complex trauma which can lead to chronic medical issues. CareSource’s program called Prevent.Survive.Thrive is a survivor-informed, three-prong approach that focuses on prevention, intermediate care and ongoing follow-through.
Through partnerships with Rescuing Hope and the Georgia Sheriffs’ Association, as well as through programs of our own, it is our hope that we can collectively raise awareness about human trafficking, prevent it and help survivors heal.
At CareSource, we encourage all Georgians to support these organizations in their important work, either through charitable giving or simply by making an effort to become more aware of the signs of human trafficking and what to do if you see them. Together, we can combat this issue and make our state a healthier, safer place for every person.