Justice for Human Trafficking Victims
Human trafficking, otherwise known as modern slavery, is one of the fastest growing criminal enterprises in the world. Trafficking involves the exploitation of a person for labor, domestic servitude or commercial sexual activity by coercion, force, or fraud. Human trafficking victims are sexually, psychologically, and/or physically harmed to perform under slave-like conditions. Women and girls make up over 70% of all human trafficking victims. While many people associate human trafficking with poor and developing countries, it is rampant throughout the United States and the statistics are harrowing. In Georgia alone, on average 100 juvenile girls are exploited each night, and every month, approximately 12,400 men pay for sex with a young woman, and 7,200 of them end up exploiting a minor.
Human trafficking is a crime under international and federal law, and is also a crime in every state. The Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA), passed in 2000, was the first comprehensive federal law to tackle human trafficking with a multi-faceted approach focusing on prevention, protection, and prosecution. Since the TVPA went into effect, there have been numerous TVPA Reauthorization Acts seeking to strengthen the initial law. Here in Georgia, the first-of-its-kind statewide Human Trafficking Prosecution Unit was created in 2019. This unit allows for collaboration across all levels of law enforcement within the state, and has a dedicated set of prosecutors, criminal investigators, analysts, and a victim advocate. In 2021, the unit rescued and helped over 100 victims within the state and prosecuted 51 defendants. Along with the unit, the state has a detailed program that teaches citizens how to spot human trafficking victims and how to provide them help in a safe and effective manner.

A lesser-known fact is that, through the TVPA and state laws, many human trafficking victims can bring civil suits not only against their traffickers, but also against people or institutions that may have benefited from their trafficking. This includes the Johns/customers; hotels, motels, apartment complexes and/or massage parlors where the trafficking may have taken place; banks or other financial institutions who knowingly accepted and/or laundered the trafficker’s money; and websites and online advertising companies through which trafficking is solicited.

Here in Georgia, AirBnbs, truck stops, hotels, and motels have been sued for the abuse that they allowed to happen on their premises. Hotels and motels are particularly susceptible to these lawsuits due to their contractual obligations to care for their guests. The failure to protect victims from human trafficking if employees and/or management expect, know or should know that human trafficking is taking place on the premises is a breach of their duty to care for gusts and leaves them open to legal liability.
How Can We Help

While criminal proceedings take extensive time and resources to prosecute, civil cases are becoming a more common way for survivors of human trafficking to obtain justice for the terrible acts they have endured. Victims of human trafficking are entitled to seek compensation for the damages they have incurred, including physical injuries caused, hospital and other medical bills for conditions resulting from the forced labor conditions, lost income, emotional distress and pain and suffering. If you or a loved one has been a victim of human trafficking, we want to help. Holding the proper parties responsible not only compensates you and your loved ones for the trauma you have faced but continues to shine a light on the enormous problem human trafficking continues to be, and in turn, forces corporations and property managers to take proactive measures to help end this terrible practice. For more information, or to request a free case evaluation, fill out the form below, or call us at 404-523-7706.

Resources for survivors of human trafficking and sexual assault:
Georgia Network to End Sexual Assault
Georgia Coalition to Combat Human Trafficking
Out of Darkness
Tabitha’s House
Covenant House Georgia RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network)
National Human Trafficking Hotline – toll free at (888) 373-7888
Georgia Statewide 24-Hour Human Trafficking Hotline (866) 363-4842