Beginning in August 2008, the Governor’s Office for Children and Families (GOCF) led the CSEC Task Force to address the need for a unified protocol for serving commercially sexually exploited children (CSEC) in Georgia. The dedicated members of the CSEC Task Force came together with the common goal of making a long-term commitment to combat this critical issue in Georgia. Effective July 1, 2014, the Task Force transferred to the Georgia Criminal Justice Coordinating Council where it has continued its work related to CSEC within the Collective Impact Framework, while concurrently beginning to examine the full-scope of the human trafficking issue.
In this vein, the need for statewide coordination, communication, and collaboration is currently being addressed through the Georgia Statewide Human Trafficking Task Force. The importance of having a statewide response focused on eradicating human trafficking in Georgia remains the utmost priority of the Governor’s Office as well as the Georgia Criminal Justice Coordinating Council. Thus, the CJCC is currently carrying forward the steadfast response to addressing the need for a cohesive strategy that works to combat exploitation in Georgia by functioning as the backbone support and coordinating agency for the Georgia Statewide Human Trafficking Task Force.
The mission of the Task Force, led by the CJCC, is to protect the citizens of Georgia from perpetrators and systems of sexual exploitation while concurrently working to support recovery of CSEC victims to ensure that they are ready for college, work, and a successful future.
The Georgia Statewide Human Trafficking Task Force operates by a targeted, strategic framework which consists of individual Work Groups addressing the five elements of the trafficking continuum: Vulnerability-Recruitment-Exploitation-Withdrawal-Reintegration.
Specifically, the Task Force functions based on eight objectives: Community Awareness and Education; Youth Aware And Safe; Deterring Traffickers And Buyers; Keeping At-Risk Youth Safe; Apprehending, Investigating, And Prosecuting; Examining Labor, International, And Adult Sex Trafficking; Survivors Supported And Protected; and Survivors Recovering And Thriving. The eight Work Groups, created and launched in 2015, operate under the umbrella of these defined objectives. Seven of the eight Task Force Work Groups are continuing with an emphasis on CSEC. The eighth Work Group is expanding the scope of the Task Force by examining labor trafficking, international trafficking, and adult sex trafficking with the goal of gathering critical information to directly inform a comprehensive needs assessment for the state. Member of this Work Group will evaluate if projects are feasible in 2016, and if so, deciphering what the most effective approach will be.