Tina Browning wants the community to see the signs and be aware of how the vulnerable can become victims in the human trafficking market that comes through the Coastal Empire.
“With the Georgia Ports expansion, this is bringing in more of our international trade,” said Browning, treasurer of the Savannah Interagency Diversity Council (thesidc.org) and marketing chair of the Savannah Traffick Jam conference.
“They (traffickers) come primarily through transit, the airlines, Chatham County transit, and our ports. This is a lot of where our trafficking comes in, and it’s not just about sex trafficking but labor trafficking,” she said.
“Now they found a way to get into the schools by putting signs outside our schools. ‘Students need work, $14.99 an hour.’ Mom doesn’t agree with that and they (students) go alone (for a meeting) and we don’t see them for three years.”
Last month, someone tried to grab a little girl in shopping center parking lot, Browning said. The mother was putting the baby seat carrier in the back seat of the vehicle. There was a woman walking around and a van pulls up to try to pull the child in the van. The mother was able to get away. The traffickers take photos of a child, put it on the internet, and immediately get feedback that someone was interested in the child, Browning said.
The 2021 Savannah Traffick Jam will discuss the signs to watch for and what to do, she said.
SIDC will hold the sixth annual Traffick Jam this year as virtual workshops because of the pandemic. The workshops are free, with a focus on public participation Jan. 30. There will be activities, vendors and raffles.
The Jan. 30 speaker list includes:
• Jerome Elam Jerome Elam, president and CEO of Trafficking in America Task Force.
• Sarah Pederson, statewide Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner coordinator for the Criminal Justice Coordinator Council.
• Mel Meyer, director of Atlanta Dream Center’s Anti-Sex Trafficking Department, referred to as Out of Darkness.
• Dr. Heather Quaile, board-certified, women’s and gender health nurse practitioner with training in female sexual medicine from San Diego Sexual Medicine.
All sessions are 8 a.m. to noon and attendance is free. Everyone from law enforcement, health care and the community should attend their designated sessions. Speakers and content focused by respective profession.
Register at bit.ly/3phY324.
Jan. 9: Law enforcement only, request registration from firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jan. 16: Legal professions (non-law enforcement). Register by Jan. 8.
Jan. 23: Medical professionals and mental health professionals. Register by Jan. 15.
Jan. 30: Main conference and community members. Register by Jan. 29.
• National Human Trafficking Hotline: operations and rescue efforts
• Victim resources and rehabilitation services
• How sex trafficking victims are targeted and groomed
• Victim & survivor stories
• Local prevention partners
For more information, call 912-398-1343.
Andria Segedy is the news submissions coordinator for Savannah Morning News. Contact her at email@example.com. Twitter: @andria_segedy