SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – Tuesday Gov. Brian Kemp and First Lady Marty Kemp joined state and local leaders Tuesday to sign SB 33, SB 34, and HB 287. According to the governor’s office, the bills continue the work of the GRACE Commission and the Kemp administration to combat human trafficking in Georgia.
SB 33: Civil Remedy for Victims of Human Trafficking
SB 33 allows victims of human trafficking to sue their traffickers, as well as anyone else who who knowingly benefitted financially from their victimization. These lawsuits may be filed within ten years from the date of the offense or from the victim’s 18th birthday if the victim is a minor. The bill also creates a cause of action allowing the Attorney General to file suit against human traffickers and their associates.
SB 34: Name Change for Survivors of Human Trafficking
SB 34 amends Georgia’s name change statute to protect the privacy and safety of human trafficking survivors that wish to change their name. Currently, Georgians that wish to change their name must file a petition for name change, and there must be public notice of the petition filed in the county’s newspaper. This bill will protect victims’ privacy by allowing them to file their petitions confidentially under seal without having to publish public notice in the newspaper.
HB 287: Adding Human Trafficking Awareness to Georgia Health Standards
HB 287 requires schools to teach human trafficking awareness to students in grades 6-12, and also adds tobacco and vapor products to the list of categories included in Georgia’s mandatory alcohol and drug awareness education program. Girl Scout Troop 13560 researched the idea of increasing student’s awareness of vaping awareness and reached out to these legislators with their idea. This bill originally only addressed vaping and tobacco education, but through the hard work of the First Lady, Representative Rich, Senator Kirkpatrick, Georgia Academy of Family Physicians, and Girl Scout Troop 13560, Georgia students will now be trained on the dangers of human trafficking as well.