Georgia continues to make strides in passing laws to stop child sex trafficking.
That’s according to an annual report card that grades states on their legislation.
WABE’s Rose Scott reports Georgia is also focusing on stopping the demand side of the crime.
Broadcast version of this story.
During Thursday’s press conference with the anti-trafficking group Shared Hope International, Georgia attorney general Sam Olens admitted he was once weak on knowledge about the sex trafficking of minors.
“And it wasn’t pretty and as a result of that I got engaged and I’m pleased that my office and our state has got engaged to combat modern day slavery.”
Georgia is among the states that are aggressively attacking the demand side, says Olens.
“We’re looking at the average girl involved in trafficking in Georgia, number one, being an American not an illegal immigrant. They’re generally a runaway and the girls are generally 12 years to 14. And there’s no excuse for a purchaser buying a 12 to 14 year old girl.”
Georgia’s republican attorney general told the crowd that the laws to prosecute traffickers and buyers are a non-partisan issue that’s become a collective partnership among many.
“We have three excellent U.S attorneys. They work with the state prosecutors. We are all on the page together.”
Olens also touted the training Georgia law enforcement agencies are required to complete in order to identify victims.
“Now as a result of that training, we have solid evidence of where law enforcement are knowing to look for. They’re looking at the signs and they’re saving these kids.”
Earlier this year, advocates, lawmakers and the Georgia attorney general office teamed up to launch the Georgia’s Not Buying It campaign.
The group Shared Hope International gave Georgia a grade of B for its legislative work.
Olens said there’s still more to do in prosecuting those that seek to purchase sex from minors.