ATLANTA (AP) — Federal authorities are highlighting Atlanta's emergence as a hub in human trafficking along the East Coast as they try to raise awareness about the problem and generate tips from the public.
Brock Nicholson of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement for Georgia and the Carolinas says human trafficking has been increasing in the Atlanta area and the crimes are often hard to uncover because many victims won't come forward.
Nicholson said victims often fear beatings from traffickers or arrest and deportation by authorities if they try to escape. He stressed that authorities will not punish or deport victims.
Nicholson said two troubling new trends are that victims are getting younger, some as young as 14, and traffickers are increasingly using violence to control victims.
© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.