U.S. Attorney General Bill Barr says the federal government is awarding more than $100 million in grants to target human trafficking.
The money will go to task forces combatting human trafficking, to victim services and victim housing.
Barr made the announcement Monday in Atlanta with presidential adviser Ivanka Trump and Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp.
“This is one of the top enforcement priorities of the department and we’re on the forefront of this fight,” Barr said.
President Donald Trump’s administration in August awarded $35 million in Justice Department grants to organizations that provide safe housing for victims of human trafficking.
“It’s only by cooperating with all our partners, our state and local partners and those in the private sector that we’re going to be able to make any progress and ultimately end the victimization of those boys and girls,” Barr said.
The wife of the Republican Kemp, Marty Kemp, has made human trafficking a focus of her work as Georgia’s first lady.
“The governor and the first lady here have been second to none in the nation in taking this fight on and working closely with the federal government and I really appreciate that,” Barr said.
The announcement came after Barr, Trump and the Kemps toured the Georgia Center for Child Advocacy southwest of downtown Atlanta. There, center employees told the visitors about their work, including efforts to make sure that caregivers of children who have been abused get counseling and help.
“Some of our families have such basic needs that need to be met, that the fact that their child has experienced this trauma is not even the highest on their list right now,” said Amy Shipp, a family advocate.
The center also has a program that seeks to help teenagers in foster care get the education, work experience and life experience they need to be able to take care of themselves when they become adults.
“We actually prepare them for young adulthood,” said Giselle Balfour.