The Gist: Georgia’s top officials kicked off National Human Trafficking Awareness Month by using school buses wrapped in anti-human trafficking messages to create a mile-long moving billboard to get residents thinking about human trafficking.

The Problem: Atlanta is a major transportation hub, which has also made it a major hub for human trafficking due largely to Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport. It is an issue that goes largely unnoticed by most Atlanta residents, which is why the Stop Traffick event was designed to shift Atlanta drivers’ focus from traffic to trafficking.

Location: The buses drove through the heart of Atlanta near the new Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

Who was involved?: The Stop Traffick event was made possible through a partnership with Georgia Governor-elect Brian Kemp, the Georgia General Assembly, Street Grace, Atlantic Station, Gwinnett County Public Schools, the Georgia Department of Transportation, the Atlanta Police Department, the Georgia Department of Public Safety and the Georgia State Patrol, BBDO, Porter Novelli, Bark Bark and more.

The Quotes: “Georgia has a world-class logistics network, which has made our state a global leader in business and commerce. Sadly, criminals are utilizing this same infrastructure for illicit and evil purposes,” said Kemp. “We encourage all Georgians to learn the warning signs for human trafficking and the appropriate ways to report suspicious activity to law enforcement.”

“With January being National Human Trafficking Awareness Month, today’s Stop Traffick event exemplifies Georgia’s unified commitment to raising visibility and bringing an end to domestic minor sex trafficking,” said Carr. “We believe this unique event gives the people of Georgia a better understanding of the size and scope of this industry in our state, so that we can rescue those who may already be involved and enlist more eyes and ears to help us prevent other children from falling victim.”

“Every day in Atlanta, people talk about our traffic problem. Today, we urge you to talk about our more serious ‘traffick’ problem,” said Bob Rodgers, president and CEO of Street Grace. “Child sex trafficking is an industry that thrives in darkness. Our goal is to develop a network that will continually shine a light on this issue and put an end to the abuse.”

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