ATLANTA — Gov. Brian Kemp wants new legislation to combat human trafficking.
On Tuesday, Kemp, First Lady Marty Kemp and GOP lawmakers announced their intent to introduce legislation this session that closes loopholes in current law for human traffickers and creates additional protections for victims.
"By seeking justice for victims and holding bad actors accountable,” Kemp said in a statement, “we are sending a strong message that human trafficking has no place in Georgia.”
Members of the Georgians for Refuge, Action, Compassion and Education Commission, including Speaker Pro Tempore Jan Jones and victims of sex trafficking, joined Kemp in his office for the announcement.
According to the governor’s office, new legislation would impose a lifetime commercial driver’s license ban on or revoke a driver’s license of individuals convicted of human trafficking.
In July of last year, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration instituted the same restrictions at the federal level.
A new provision would create pathways for victims of human trafficking to restrict access to their criminal records or secure a judicial order that sets aside judgments issued for the wrongly convicted.
The legislation would also update the Georgia sex offender registry to include individuals convicted of prostitution, pimping and pandering — considered a felony if the victim is younger than the age of 18. Individuals convicted of a felony for burglary with intent to rape will also be added to the offender registry.
The bill would restrict individuals convicted of sexual contact with a minor from using consent as a defense in court, the bill would apply to offenses of improper sexual contact with a minor by a foster parent and other various situations.
The new legislation comes after Kemp last week announced a new Human Trafficking Awareness Training that will teach nearly 80,000 state employees to spot the signs of sex trafficking and the proper channels to report it.