Hamilton Herald Masthead


Front Page - Friday, February 21, 2014

First Tennessee Human Trafficking Awareness Certification goes to Greater Chattanooga Hospitality Association Board

The Greater Chattanooga Hospitality Association (GCHA) board of directors has become Tennessee’s first such organization to complete certification training for Human Trafficking awareness.

The GCHA has committed itself to become a signee of the Tourism Child Protection Code of Conduct, a certification given by End Child Prostitution and Trafficking, an international organization that fights human trafficking.

Hamilton County has reported more than 100 cases of adult sex trafficking and up to 50 cases of trafficking in minors.  The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation and Vanderbilt University conducted a statewide study that found there were more than 100 cases of human sex trafficking documented by social service agencies in Chattanooga. At the time, no local law enforcement agency had any reports of sex trafficking. 

Tennessee is ranked No. 1 in the U.S. in its efforts to fight sex trafficking in particular with “Shared Hope” an International organization that focuses on prevention strategies, restoration programs, and justice initiatives to combat trafficking in the U.S. and abroad.

Ann Coulter, a volunteer with the Women’s Fund of Chattanooga said, “The “Shared Hope International” study found that 78 of the state’s 95 counties had reported at least one instance of human trafficking. Here in the Chattanooga area sex trafficking is the dominate form of this awful crime,” she continued.

“Human trafficking, including the trafficking of underage girls for sex, is modern day slavery, according to the Department of Homeland Security, and it’s growing, not just around the world but in our own communities,” she added.

For more information or to report suspected human trafficking call the Tennessee Human Trafficking Resources Center Hotline at (855) 558-6484 or visit www.stopsextraffickinginTN.com.

Source: Tennessee Human Trafficking Resources Center