Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport and Delta Air Lines have partnered with Rotary International to bring awareness to human trafficking with the installation of a temporary photography exhibit.
The installation features the Girls Education and Mentoring Services’ “More Than a Survivor” exhibit, with large portraits of human trafficking survivors and their stories on display in the Domestic Terminal atrium through June 22. The exhibit adds to an already-robust presence of anti-human trafficking initiatives launched by the Airport in the past several months.
A projected 27 million people are victims of forced labor and sexual exploitation, and many are transported across domestic and international borders. In the U.S. alone, 1.5 million victims are trafficked, and one woman or child is trafficked into the United States every 10 minutes. Atlanta is now a major transportation hub for trafficking young girls from Mexico and is one of the 14 U.S. cities with the highest levels of sex trafficking of children.
In October 2016 nearly 70 people were arrested in Metro Atlanta for international sex trafficking and prostitution. 82 minors were rescued and more than 239 alleged traffickers were arrested. This operation took place at hotels, truck stops, street corners, and many other locations. The Metro Atlanta Child Exploitation Task Force assisted the FBI in Operation Cross Country X – rescuing one juvenile from trafficking, executing two search warrants, and confiscating seven firearms. More arrests took place in the surrounding area with five people arrested in Alpharetta, one person in Dekalb, four in Dunwoody, two in Gwinnett county, two people in Marietta, five people in the Athens and area and one person in Augusta.
Hartsfield-Jackson (ATL) is the world’s most traveled and most efficient airport, serving more than 101 million passengers annually with nonstop service to more than 150 U.S. destinations and nearly 70 international destinations in more than 45 countries. In the wake of the growing awareness of Atlanta’s role as a hub for trafficking, Hartsfield-Jackson launched its “eyes and ears” campaign in January soliciting the more than 100 million passengers traveling through the airport annually to report their suspicions about the prevalence of the trade if they saw any untoward behavior.
The Airport’s efforts were recognized by the World Chamber of Commerce in May.