In 20 years, we have moved forward with deliberate speed to change the course in our response to this scourge. Now, those who sell or buy children may be charged with a felony, our child welfare system recognizes that these victims are exploited, and there is a statewide response protocol for identified children. With these safety nets in place, we must now shift our attention to addressing the systemic issues which create vulnerability in children susceptible to trafficking, and enforcing the laws to punish those who sell and buy these children as commodities.
In 2018, the International Human Trafficking Institute, an initiative of the National Center for Civil and Human Rights, convened the Metropolitan Coalition to End Human Trafficking. This multi-sector coalition is comprised of private, public, education, multi-faith, civic, nonprofit and philanthropic entities from the City of Atlanta, Clayton, Cobb, DeKalb, Douglas, Fulton, Gwinnett, and Paulding counties. We believe our coordinated response strengthens the safety net for our children and helps human trafficking-proof our communities.