Keisha Lance Bottoms

Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms joined Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr and Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL) on Monday to announce her intention to appoint a senior fellow to develop and implement a comprehensive blueprint to end human trafficking in city city

This cabinet-level appointment 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 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.

“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.

The city’s current efforts to prevent human trafficking and support trafficking victims include special cictims officers within at APD and preventative measures at the airport such as signage placed in all restrooms listing identifiable signs of a trafficked person and the telephone number for the National Human Trafficking Hotline. The airport 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.  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.

Collin Kelley has been the editor of Atlanta Intown for two decades and has been a journalist and freelance writer for 35 years. He’s also an award-winning poet and novelist.