BUFORD, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) – Gov. Brian Kemp was in Gwinnett County on Tuesday to sign legislation to fight human trafficking.
The goal is to continue the work of the GRACE Commission and the Kemp administration’s efforts to combat human trafficking in Georgia.
“As we stand before you today, we know Gwinnett County is a hub for human trafficking. The folks here at House of Hope are on the frontlines of this fight, and we are grateful for your efforts.”
Kemp went on to say that while Gwinnett County is a hub of human trafficking, it’s a problem across the state.
He signed three bills in total to help end human trafficking:
SB 33: Civil Remedy for Victims of Human Trafficking
- This bill will allow human trafficking victims to sue their traffickers, as well as anyone else who who knowingly benefitted financially from their victimization. These lawsuits may be filed within 10 years from the date of the offense or from the victim’s 18th birthday if the victim is a minor. This bill will also create a cause of action allowing the attorney general to file suit against human traffickers and their associates.
SB 34: Name Change for Survivors of Human Trafficking
- SB 34 will amend Georgia’s name change statute to protect the privacy and safety of human trafficking survivors that wish to change their name. Currently, Georgians that wish to change their name must file a petition for name change, and there must be public notice of the petition filed in the county’s newspaper. This bill will protect victims’ privacy by allowing them to file their petitions confidentially under seal without having to publish a public notice in the newspaper.
HB 287: Adding Human Trafficking Awareness to Georgia Health Standards
- HB 287 will require schools to teach human trafficking awareness to students in grades 6-12, and also adds tobacco and vapor products to the list of categories included in Georgia’s mandatory alcohol and drug awareness education program. Girl Scout Troop 13560 researched the idea of increasing student’s awareness of vaping awareness and reached out to these legislators with their idea. This bill originally only addressed vaping and tobacco education, but through the work of First Lady Marty Kemp, Rep. Bonnie Rich, Senator Kay Kirkpatrick, the Georgia Academy of Family Physicians, and Girl Scout Troop 13560, Georgia students will now be trained on the dangers of human trafficking, too.
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