Many people standing around white man sitting at black table signing a paper
Gov. Brian Kemp, seated next to his wife, Marty, signs Senate Bill 42 into law on April 11, 2023, at at the Governor’s Mansion. (Caleb Groves/Fresh Take Georgia)

Gov. Brian Kemp has signed into law stiffer penalties for Georgia businesses failing to post the National Human Trafficking Hotline number, 1-888-373-7888.

Senate Bill 42 imposes fines ranging from $500 to $1,000 for first offenses and $1,000 to $5,000 for subsequent violations. The new law, Kemp said, makes “Georgia a hostile place for traffickers but a safe haven for victims.”

Estimates show there are 1.5 million human trafficking victims in the United States, most of whom are children, according to Kemp’s office.

Moments before Kemp signed SB 42 at the Governor’s Mansion, First Lady Marty Kemp hosted a Georgians for Refuge, Action, Compassion and Education Commission meeting. The co-chairwoman of the commission, she has been a longtime advocate against human trafficking.

In 2019, the commission joined Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr and state lawmakers in announcing the formation of the state’s Human Trafficking Prosecution Unit. It has rescued 116 victims and indicted 53 people on sex and labor trafficking charges, according to Carr’s office.

“I know you probably will tell me that I’m crazy — that we can make it go away forever — but that is my goal,” Marty Kemp said of human trafficking. “And that is what everybody sitting at this table would love to be able to accomplish.”

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