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Georgia survey reveals law enforcement attitude about human trafficking

Actress Emma Thompson stands in front of an art installment entitled "The Journey against Sex Trafficking".
Actress Emma Thompson stands in front of an art installment entitled "The Journey against Sex Trafficking".
Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images

A survey conducted by the state of Georgia reveals that 60% of law enforcement believe that suspected child prostitutes should be prosecuted. Adding insult to injury, some in law enforcement believe that suspected child prostitutes should be prosecuted even if they are forced into selling themselves.

The survey shows a shocking trend among law enforcement. The Georgia Bureau of Intelligence conducted the survey hoping to quantify the extent of human trafficking in the state. But what they discovered is an attitude of complacency among those who believe that some non-Caucasian persons are actually willing participants in the sex trade instead of being exploited individuals.

According to a GBI spokesperson, this attitude is an obstacle in identifying and investigating crimes of sex trafficking, kidnapping, and missing-person cases. GBI investigators find the trend to be an eye-opener.

Over 200 sheriff’s offices and police departments reported 190 cases as crimes instead of possible victims. There could be more cases which could involve children or youth who are not willing participants but victims of crime.

The survey also revealed that law enforcement in Georgia does not believe sex trafficking is a problem in Georgia. This comes as another shock when just recently Georgia was named one of the top states in sex trafficking.

Other revelations from the survey: Sex trafficking is a “home grown” problem and sex trafficking is more about sex than actual crime. More than 50% of those surveyed say their law enforcement is not adequately trained to recognize sex trafficking.