January is Human Trafficking Awareness Month at DJJ

January 2, 2018
In partnership with local, state and federal law enforcement agencies, Commissioner Avery D. Niles of the Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) has announced that DJJ will observe Human Trafficking Awareness month during January. Human trafficking is defined as “modern slavery” because it controls a person through force, fraud or coercion – physical or psychological – to exploit the person for forced labor, sexual exploitation, or both.
“Human trafficking is the most extreme violation of a person’s civil rights,” Commissioner Niles stated. “… And yet it still afflicts humanity in this century through the profitable business of sex trafficking disguised in the form of domestic labor hiding human servitude.”
The most common form of human trafficking is sexual exploitation, which impacts 70 percent of human trafficking victims. These sexual exploitation victims are predominantly women and girls.
According to UNICEF estimates, two million children are trafficking victims of sex trade each year – about 20 percent of the total number of victims.
The average age of a girl forced into the U.S. sex slavery market is 13. The average cost of a slave around the world is $90.
Through its Office of Victim Services, DJJ provides statewide leadership and outreach services in collaboration with law enforcement, government and private agencies and other concerned community stakeholders.
What does sexual exploitation in the United States look like?
· At least 100,000 to 300,000 youth are at risk for commercial sexual exploitation (CSEC) annually in the U.S.
· The average age of entry into the commercial sex industry in the U.S. is 12-14 years old.
· Atlanta has been identified by the FBI as one of 14 cities with the highest incidence of sex trafficking activity  in the nation.
Risk factors for our youth
· Pre-teen and adolescent males and females are at risk
· History of abuse and neglect
· Socioeconomically marginalized youth
· History of running away
Myths and facts about sex trafficking:
· Children and youth choose to enter the sex trade
· It occurs only to “BAD KIDS”
· Children and youth like to have sex
· All sex trafficking youth are drug addicts
· It is a job
· CSEC youth have power and control
· It’s not a big problem in the U.S.
· All pimps are males
· Children and youth lure and prey on unsuspecting men
· Youths make lots of money
· Only girls are involved
· The life is exciting and glamorous
· It is a victimless crime
For more information or to get help, please call the DJJ Office of Victim Services at 1-866-922-6360 or email the Office at victimservices@djj.state.ga.us.  Georgia Cares is the single, statewide coordinating agency to connect services and treatment care for child victims of sex trafficking and can be visited online at www.gacares.org or contacted via their 24-hour hotline at 404-602-0068.  The National Runaway Hotline can be reached at 1-800-RUNAWAY (1-800-786-2929). The National Human Trafficking Hotline is 1-888-373-7888. The Prevent Child Abuse Georgia Helpline can be called at 1-800-CHILDREN (1-800-244-5373).
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