Cybersecdn– Georgia’s First Lady, Marty Kemp, has emerged as a formidable advocate in the fight against human trafficking, a plight she was largely unaware of until a pivotal moment just weeks before her husband’s inauguration in January 2019. It was during an anti-human trafficking event that Kemp’s eyes were opened to the harrowing realities of this global issue, a moment that would redefine her focus and set her on a path of advocacy and reform.
The event, marked by the display of 72 school buses, served as a stark visual representation of the 3,500 children affected by human trafficking annually in Georgia alone. This powerful imagery resonated with Kemp, a self-described visual learner, compelling her to delve deeper into the issue and galvanize efforts to combat this heinous crime.
Upon assuming her role, Kemp quickly set to work, championing the creation of the GRACE Commission through an executive order signed by Governor Brian Kemp. The commission represents a comprehensive approach to tackling human trafficking, bringing together an array of stakeholders including public officials, law enforcement, non-profit and for-profit organizations, faith-based groups, and experts in the field. The GRACE Commission’s mandate is clear: to dismantle the networks of human trafficking, provide justice and support for victims, and hold perpetrators accountable for their actions.
Under Kemp’s stewardship, the state of Georgia has seen significant legislative advancements aimed at curtailing human trafficking. Kemp’s tenure has been marked by the passage of eight pivotal pieces of legislation, each designed to address the multifaceted dimensions of trafficking. These laws not only target the perpetrators but also provide a framework for supporting survivors in their journey towards recovery. The bipartisan support for these measures underscores the universal recognition of the urgency and importance of this issue, transcending political divides.
Among Kemp’s notable initiatives is the establishment of Grace’s Place, a sanctuary located in Lawrenceville, Georgia. This facility is dedicated to offering comprehensive care for child survivors of sex trafficking, providing a blend of physical, psychological, and educational support tailored to their unique needs. Kemp envisions Grace’s Place as a beacon of hope and a model for similar establishments nationwide, offering a haven for survivors to heal and rebuild their lives.
Kemp’s current legislative focus includes a bill aimed at further tightening the noose around the operations of illicit activities, particularly those masquerading as legitimate businesses such as massage parlors. The proposed legislation seeks to enhance the regulatory oversight of such establishments, empowering authorities to conduct unannounced inspections and ensuring that massage therapists adhere to stringent identification and licensing requirements. This legislative effort builds on the foundation laid by previous statutes, reinforcing Georgia’s commitment to eradicating human trafficking.
The First Lady’s dedication to this cause is unwavering, fueled by a deep-seated belief in the necessity of eradicating human trafficking from Georgia. Her efforts are complemented by the work of the Attorney General’s Human Trafficking Prosecution Unit, which has made significant strides in recovering victims, leading investigations, and securing convictions against traffickers.
Marty Kemp’s journey from an unaware campaign trail participant to a leading voice against human trafficking in Georgia exemplifies the power of awareness, dedication, and collective action. Her initiatives and the legislative strides made under her influence reflect a holistic approach to combating human trafficking, aiming not only to punish the perpetrators but also to heal and empower the survivors. Through her efforts, Kemp aspires to create a state—and ultimately a nation—where the scourge of human trafficking is a thing of the past, ensuring safety and justice for all its citizens.