Operation Safe Summer II Rescues More Missing-Exploited Children
For the first 24 days of May, 27 different agencies worked together to rescue 231 missing/exploited children in Georgia. The task force was called “Operation Safe Summer II” and gathered more children this year than last year’s total of 149. The children were located in the Atlanta Metro area.
Atlanta Metro includes Fulton, DeKalb, Gwinnett, Cobb, Clayton, Coweta, Douglas, Fayette, and Henry counties.
The FBI’s Metro Atlanta Child Exploitation and Human Trafficking (MATCH) task force headed the operation, which ran from May 1 to May 24.
According to the agency, there were 419 missing or runaway children on the streets of metro the Atlanta region as of March 2019. With an emphasis on prevention, authorities concentrated much of their efforts on locating and identifying those vulnerable children before they were targeted by predators.
How does this happen in a state that has numerous laws that have attempted to stop human trafficking? One Georgia legislator gives us a clue:
In spite of a number of human trafficking laws having been passed during the past 10 years, Georgia, particularly the Atlanta area, continues to see a high volume of child sex trafficking. Activity typically picks up prior to major sports and entertainment events, but sex trafficking activities in metro Atlanta are consistently higher than in other areas partially for the same reason that Atlanta’s airport is the busiest in the nation- easy access to the entire Southeast; three Interstate highways pass through the city.
Metro Atlanta’s population continues to grow at a fast pace which translates to a large number of recent transplants with personal contacts outside the area. Those contacts are often used to find customers and victims.Dave Emanuel, Snellville City Councilman, Gwinnett County.
Children, teens, are vulnerable to sex trafficking- and both male and female can become victims.
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Featured photo: City of Atlanta, Georgia public website