NATIONAL REPORT — Convenience store retailers across the United States are coming together in the fight against human trafficking.
Lisle, Ill.-based Clark Brands LLC, the Georgia Association of Convenience Stores (GACS) and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) have all announced partnerships with national advocacy group IN OUR BACKYARD (IOB) for its Convenience Stores Against Trafficking (CSAT) nonprofit program.
GBI noted that while the Super Bowl may be months away, the organization isn't waiting to start efforts to put an end to sex trafficking. According to law enforcement, it expects to see a significant increase in sex trafficking during the Super Bowl next year in Atlanta.
"Fair warning to child predators, we're going to be out there," GBI's Keenan said.
Atlanta turned north to Minnesota, the site of this past Super Bowl, to see what kind of problem it might face. Law enforcement in the state arrested dozens of men for trying to buy sex with a child during Super Bowl time, reported 11Alive.com.
Assuring that Georgia has "some very, very strong laws to protect our children" that "will be applied," Keenan said a large part of the crackdown will take place at local gas stations and c-stores, where clerks will be trained on warning signs and post flyers promoting the human trafficking hotline in bathroom stalls.
Convenience Stores Against Trafficking, a program of national nonprofit IN OUR BACKYARD, provides the only industry-specific training and materials to equip convenience stores to take a stand against human trafficking. CSAT has partnerships in 29 states, representing more than 12,000 locations.