By Nia Brown and Tremelle Howard-Fishburne
According to the U.S. Department of Justice, human trafficking is the second fastest growing criminal industry. Alarmingly, children account for nearly half of all victims. Atlanta’s convenient, international travel access and diverse demographics allow it to easily be crowned the global hub of human trafficking by some accounts. Equally disturbing, the FBI named Atlanta one of the 14 cities with the highest number of child prostitutes.
While this heinous crime might seem exclusive to large, urban areas, human trafficking has occurred here in Douglas County Georgia. Last month, Douglasville resident Donald Lemery was found guilty on all counts in a human trafficking/child molestation case. Lemery was operating a child trafficking ring from his home.
As concerned citizens and parents, Douglas County residents can join the fight against human trafficking by being well informed. A community-wide Human Trafficking Forum will occur tonight at 6 p.m. at the New Manchester High School Auditorium.
This event will discuss how human trafficking has touched our own community. The forum will feature a special presentation from Street Grace, a Georgia non-profit organization, whose primary goal is to eliminate human trafficking here in the U.S. Thereafter a panel of local experts including Assistant District Attorney Rachel Ackley who litigated Douglas County’s first human trafficking case against a defendant targeting young males.
The forum is free to the public and is being sponsored by the Douglas County chapters of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. (Sigma Omega Omega), the Junior League and the New Manchester High School PTA.
Douglas County, let’s work together to protect our children! If you have any questions about the forum, email the event sponsor at firstname.lastname@example.org.