Georgia picks Bryan for human trafficking programs

June 3, 2014

The Bryan Center for International Development will present four seminars on human trafficking for the Georgia Department of Education in the coming school year.

Dennis Miller, executive director of external relations and head of the Center for International Development (CID), said the lectures will feature presentations by individuals active in the anti-human trafficking effort at global, national, and local levels. Participants already confirmed represent Great Britain’s New Scotland Yard and the Slovak foreign ministry.

“The phenomenon of human trafficking has mushroomed globally over the past two decades due in great part to the proliferation of the Internet, which makes the movement of trafficking victims easier to facilitate,” Mr. Miller said. “Another factor has been the significant social unrest in Central and Eastern Europe as a result of the fall of Communism. Human traffickers feed off social instability and the desire of people caught up in cultural unrest and upheaval to find gainful employment, oftentimes to meet even their most basic survival needs.”

Dr. Ron Petitte, director of the Bryan Center for Leadership Initiatives (CLI), added that the formation of the European Union, with its open borders between member states, has made it easier for traffickers to move women and children through that area of the world.

An estimated 27 million individuals are victims of human trafficking around the world, Mr. Miller said, and as many as 400 persons a month are estimated to be trafficked in Georgia each month.

The seminar series is designed to help Georgia educators and social services workers identify key indicators of possible trafficking activities as well as trafficking victims. Participants will be provided with information on how to report credible suspicions of trafficking to law enforcement or other agencies, and will be informed of various governmental and non-governmental agencies dealing with trafficking issues and victims.

Mr. Miller said the CID was approached by a representative of the Georgia Department of Education to develop the seminars because “Bryan is developing a significant reputation as a leader in efforts to expose and combat human trafficking.”