Category Archives: News & Press Releases

Lobby Day 2012

Georgia Capitol dome

On most days of the year, the Georgia capitol building is swarming with activity. On February 1st, however, there is a sense of urgency and purpose not often seen among the usual visitors to the political center of the city. Community leaders, activists, students, and others are there to remind their legislators that throughout the state of Georgia, minors of both sexes are sexually exploited. Approximately 7200 Georgia men pay pimps to participate in sex acts with these youth, who are coerced and manipulated into performing. [1] In 2005, Atlanta was named by the FBI as among fourteen U.S. cities with the highest incidences of sex trafficking,and the latest research from the Governor’s office of families and children suggests that in Georgia alone, between 220 and 500 girls are commercially exploited each month. [2]

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Out of Darkness inherits hotline, aids rescue effort in Atlanta

In December of 2011, Out of Darkness launched Atlanta’s first 24/7 rescue hotline. Trained volunteers take calls from and rescue women and girls who are seeking an escape from commercially exploitative circumstances. After retrieving a victim, Out of Darkness then coordinates with other organizations like Wellspring Living and Solomon House, which provide residential and non-residential rehabilitative treatment to victims of sex trafficking. The hotline serves victims of sex trafficking as well as concerned citizens, family, and friends.

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Running for Justice

Blog originally published on bclymeratmeetjustice.wordpress.com on September 17, 2011.

The night before my first 5K, I carefully laid out my running outfit and sneakers, my iPod and a Clif bar for breakfast. I lovingly smoothed my Wellspring Living Stop Injustice 5K ticket out and attached the driving directions I’d written down on a post-it note. I even went to sleep at what my father wouldn’t term an unholy hour.

Eight hours later I was careening down the connector calling my room mate to see if she wouldn’t mind searching my room for the ticket. Another 5 minutes after that, I was calling her again for the directions. Forty minutes after that, I was calling my dad to see if he could get the correct directions for me since I’d evidently written down the wrong ones. My shoes were untied, my iPod earbuds were tangled. And I was late.

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A Brief Summary of the 2011 TVPRA

Article originally published on Innocence Atlanta on September 16, 2011.

If you were unaware of the flurry of activity regarding National Call-In Day on September 8th, you might also have missed the point behind it: to encourage legislators to pass the 2011 version of the Trafficking Victims Reauthorization Act, or TVPRA, which is set to expire on September 30, 2011. However, even if you missed National Call-In day, it’s not too late to call your senators and encourage them to pass the bill. International Justice Mission makes activism easy by offering an idiot-proof guide to calling senators about the TVPRA.

Jesse Eaves, Policy Advisor for World Vision’s Children in Crisis program, stresses the extreme importance of the bill to anti-trafficking efforts:

“The Trafficking Victims Protection Act is hugely influential in giving other countries the support they need to step up their fight against trafficking…It is the best diplomatic tool we have, and if it is not renewed, the United States’ fight against trafficking will end on October 1.” (Health News)

So what’s so important about this bill, anyway?

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National Call In Day for Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act

Originally posted on InnocenceAtlanta.org, August 31, 2011.

In 2000, the State Department Office to Combat Trafficking in Persons established the Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA) to respond to the crisis of global and dosmetic human trafficking. The act created visas and assistance for victims of trafficking, defined trafficking as a federal crime, set a global standard for all countries to address trafficking based on a three-tiered system, and authorized the annual Trafficking in Persons (TIP) report. (View the most recent TIP Report by clicking here.)

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Crib Safety Requirements- an Overview from Classroom Essentials Online

Press release originally published on ClassroomEssentialsOnline.com on August 8th, 2011.

Co-edited by Tamara Meier.

By December 28, 2012, any businesses providing professional child care must replace all  cribs that do not comply with the new federal safety standards. In response to numerous injuries  and even deaths of infants and toddlers due to crib failures, all cribs available for sale, resale,  or lease after June 28, 2011 are required to meet new safety requirements issued by the U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC). According to a press release issued by the Office of Information and Public Affairs, the new standards: 16 CFR 1219 for full sized cribs and 16 CFR 1220 for non-full sized cribs, will improve the safety of cribs by “mak[ing] mattress  supports stronger; mak[ing] crib hardware more durable; and mak[ing] safety testing more rigorous”  as well as prohibiting the sale of non-compliant drop-side cribs.

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“Building Bridges: Uniting to Combat Human Trafficking in Georgia” Summit hosted in Downtown Atlanta

Originally posted on MeetJustice.org August 2, 2011

On August 1, 2011, the Georgia State University Student center was bustling with Law Enforcement officers, Prosecutors, Victim Advocates, NGO representatives, and the Media– but they weren’t the only ones there. Everyday citizens also came out to attend the 2011 Building Bridges: Uniting to Combat Human Trafficking in Georgia summit. In sum, there were 158 law enforcement officers, 48 prosecutors, 45 community activists, 45 victim services representatives, 55 Government Health and Social Service representatives, 22 concerned citizens, and 90 others in attendance.

The biggest assembly of anti-trafficking leaders that’s ever occurred on a state level was organized and presented by U.S. Attorney Sally Quillian Yates and featured panelists and speakers from every category mentioned above. Governor Nathan Deal and First Lady Sandra Deal were also present to express their support. Many topics were up for discussion, but the major theme of the day was communication, cooperation and partnership among every one involved in the anti-trafficking community.

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