By Natasha L. Foreman
The Younger Women’s Task Force Atlanta Metro Chapter is pleased to announce that Georgia’s Governor Nathan Deal has signed has signed the House Bills HB200 and HB503 into law today at 1:45pm.
Governor Deal signed the two bills advocated by the Women’s Caucus at My Sister’s House, an Atlanta facility that offers overnight shelter and residential discipleship programs for homeless women and women with children. The Governor said that, “Human trafficking is a repugnant crime that is growing like a cancer in our society. Signing this bill into law, I join my fellow Georgians in declaring moral outrage and vowing to fight human trafficking here in our state. These criminals rob their victims of freedom and human dignity, and they destroy lives. With this bill now a law, we will find these criminals and we will punish them harshly.”
HB 200 addresses human trafficking which:
1. Strengthens the punishment against traffickers by increasing the minimum imprisonment for any person who commits the offense of trafficking a person for labor or sexual servitude and subjects the convicted to a fine.
2. Increases the punishment for any person who commits the offense of trafficking a person for labor or sexual servitude against a person who is under the age of 18 years
3. Protects those that fall victim to predators whom act on their state of desperation by providing that a person shall NOT be guilty of a sexual crime if the conduct upon which the alleged criminal liability is based was committed under coercion or deception while the accused was being trafficked for sexual servitude
HB 503 provides for:
1. The Georgia Crime Victims Emergency Fund to cover the costs of medical exams of alleged victims of rape
2. Ensures that victims will have these exams paid for and that the responsibility will not fall on local law enforcement that have budget constraints
Our Younger Women’s Task Force Atlanta Chapter Director, Terica Scott was on hand to witness this amazing moment and she served as our on-site photographer for the day.
Terica had this to say about this great day, “we are pleased to see this legislation signed by the governor today. It symbolizes a great victory for girls and women in Georgia. The Younger Women’s Task Force Atlanta Chapter supports and stands 100 percent behind this bill becoming law. HB200 will help protect younger women from pain and suffering due to the cruelty by human traffickers.”
This vital legislation was a collaborative effort between concerned legislators, the Attorney General’s office, prosecutors, state and local law enforcement agencies, social service organizations, and religious groups from across the state.
The Younger Women’s Task Force Atlanta Chapter is honored to have witnessed and taken part in today’s signing. We look forward to anti-human trafficking bills being signed into law in every state in the U.S. and becoming federal law.
Click on the link below to send the Governor your warmest thanks: http://gov.georgia.gov/00/gov/contact_us/0,2657,165937316_166563415,00.html
Thank you Governor Deal!
Copyright 2011. Younger Women’s Task Force Atlanta Chapter.
Natasha L. Foreman