Plainly put, human trafficking is today’s slavery. To this day, human trafficking affects millions worldwide, many being women and children. In a nation where we cherish our freedom, there are so many around us that go unnoticed and remain trapped. It does no good just to shake our heads at this crime against humanity; we must come together to prevent and put an end to the exploitation of innocent victims.
That’s why Farah and Farah Savannah is proud to be partnering with Traffick Jam 2020 to support the fight to eradicate human trafficking in Georgia. Read on to see what you can do to help right in your own community to create real change for victims of human trafficking.
January is Human Trafficking Awareness Month
January received designation as “National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month” by Presidential proclamation in 2018. In light of the change that January brings each year, it is appropriate for the month be a spotlight for an opportunity for our community to come together to create real and lasting change. “All people are created with inherent dignity and entitled to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Human trafficking and enslavement robs victims of these God-given endowments”, the 2018 Whitehouse proclamation reads.
Combating this evil on the streets and in the courtroom has become a focus of our Savannah team. For more than 40 years, our firm’s mission has been to help those that cannot help themselves. We are proud to partner with survivors’ advocates and with initiatives to end the practice and put perpetrators behind bars. Traffick Jam 2020 allows for those on the frontlines of helping people in need – first responders, social workers, teachers, ministers, and others – the chance to coordinate strategy. The event shares best practices, provides the opportunity for cross-agency relationships to be forged, and overall, aids in the prioritization of local trafficking initiatives, all as part of the larger statewide effort.
Now in its fifth year, Traffick Jam provides an opportunity for sharing critical information and combining resources in a focused effort against human trafficking in Georgia. Presented at Savannah State University, the free-to-attend event features an educational panel with representatives from the government, school system, community, healthcare, law enforcement, legal professionals, and many others in a focused effort aimed at combating human trafficking in Georgia. Participants will leave the event equipped with tools for recognizing and safely taking action when an instance of human trafficking is observed in their community.
5th Annual Savannah Traffick Jam
January 25, 2020 @ 8am – 4pm
Student Union at Savannah State University
Event is free and lunch will be provided, but seating is limited.
REGISTRATION REQUIRED: Register for Traffick Jam 2020
Spearheaded by two non-profits that recognize the need for impact and change – Savannah Interagency Diversity Council (SIDC) and Savannah Working Against Human Trafficking (SWAHT) – the event has grown into one of the Southeast’s largest victim’s advocacy conferences. At the event, experts from agencies like the Department of Homeland Security share information on rescue operations, prosecution, victim resources, and local prevention. The aim of the event is that education will translate to hope, help, and refuge for human trafficking victims in Savannah, the State of Georgia, and beyond. The event is free but registration is required. Register here for Traffick Jam 2020.
How to Help With This Year’s Event
“Each individual plays his/her own role, depending on their own experiences and attitude,” says Cindy Hightower of SIDC. The best help you can provide is to attend the event, get educated about the issues, and become a force for safely combating trafficking where you live, work, and play. Second, and equally crucial – spread the word. Post this event and your support all across social media during Human Trafficking Awareness Month in January (FYI – January 11th is #WearBlueDay” to raise awareness).
Continuing Education Units for Professionals
Healthcare professionals, law enforcement, and legal professionals are all able to obtain continuing education units for their attendance at this event. This gives first responders and other advocates the tools and information to continue being as effective as possible. CEU contact information for the respective professions are available here.
Traffick Jam Stakeholder Progression:
Become Aware – Get Educated – Take Action
Chessie & Bradley Robinson: the Farah and Farah Husband & Wife Attorney-Duo
“Slightly paraphrasing Edmund Burke, “…all that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men and women do nothing,” says Chessie Robinson, of Farah and Farah’s Savannah office when asked what Traffick Jam means to her. Along with her husband Bradley, the Robinson’s will spearhead Farah and Farah’s presence at Traffic Jam this year. “Farah and Farah’s sponsorship of Traffick Jam means more to us than just dollars and cents; it means we chose wisely when deciding to work for a law firm with integrity,” Bradley adds.
Chessie and Bradley will be providing the welcoming remarks for those in Track 4 for Legal Professionals and also are honored to be able to introduce speaker Zoe Root from American University.
For those legal professionals needing CE credits: Please confirm your State Bar of Georgia identification with Bradley Robinson, email@example.com to earn CE credits for “Ethics #25956” at 2.5 hours through the State Bar of Georgia.
Stats on Human Trafficking in Savannah/Georgia
Whether through force, threats, fraud, or some other form of abuse, traffickers are able to force victims into a life of bondage. This can be as an unpaid laborer or domestic servant, or worse, by being exploited sexually. Survivors of the trade bear lifelong physical and emotional scars. Combating this evil right in Savannah requires significant resources aimed at both protecting citizens while also supporting the recovery of victims.
In the State of Georgia alone, the National Human Trafficking Hotline reports 5,717 human trafficking contacts have been received since 2007. In 2018, some 1,038 victims and survivors were identified and an additional 1,628 are probable. That’s almost three thousand people annually in the Peach State who have experienced firsthand the brutleness of human trafficking.
Each and every year, approximately 50,000 women and children are trafficked into the United States according to US Code 22, Chapter 78.
While human trafficking is indeed grim, the cooperation between different public and private entities is resulting in some serious headway. Here’s a few recent wins for the good guys on a national scale:
- In 2018, DOJ secured convictions against 526 defendants in human trafficking cases
- FBI human trafficking investigations responsible for arrest of more than 2,000 traffickers
- In 2019, DHS investigations led to 2,197 arrests, 1,113 indictments, 691 convictions, and 428 victims identified and assisted
Combating Human Trafficking in Georgia
At the state level are several entities formed with the sole purpose of bringing together various resources to lead a combined effort against human trafficking in the State.
The CJCC is the State of Georgia’s Task Force for Human Trafficking:
Georgia Statewide Human Trafficking Task Force fulfills the urgent need for coordination, communication, and collaboration on a statewide level. The task force is led by the Georgia Criminal Justice Coordination Council (CJCC). Founded in 2015, the Council provides a statewide response focused on eradicating human trafficking in Georgia. The efforts of the CJCC have been effective by bringing together a diverse group of direct stakeholders in the fight against human and sex trafficking.
First Lady of Georgia, Marty Kemp & the GRACE Commission:
The Georgians for Refuge, Action, Compassion, and Education Commission (GRACE) was created to unify the multiple avenues of support for combating human trafficking in the State of Georgia. The Grace Commission brings together public servants, police, private industry, non-profit organizations, the religious community, and subject matter experts all working together – pooling resources and prioritizing the State’s response to human trafficking. GRACE Commission Members come from varied backgrounds including the Georgia Bureau of Investigations, Delta Air Lines, Atlanta Public Schools, and many others.
Other Victim Advocacy Partnerships
We are proud to be able to stand next to other superheroes on the frontlines for victims and survivors of human trafficking. One such organization, based in Jacksonville, FL is Rethreaded. Rethreaded provides more than assistance to survivors; they provide hope by giving them vocational training and employment opportunities.
Groups like Rethreaded will be showcased across Traffick Jam this year – we encourage attendees to meet these tireless individuals. As well, our community involvement page features several incredibly worthy causes in our community. Please consider getting connected when you see a way you could help.
What To Do When You’ve Been a Victim
First and foremost, it’s important to reach out for help. We have attorneys and support teams especially skilled in protecting victims of sex and human trafficking. We’ll meet with you however it is easiest for you – whether that’s by email, a chat session, by phone, or in person. We’ll come alongside and support you, seek the compensation you need to recover, and let you focus on physical and emotional healing. Call 833-259-1740, our team is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.