Expert Panel to Provide Education and Resources on Human Trafficking


Human trafficking is one of the largest criminal activities, and it’s often hard to detect.

Lambda Alpha Epsilon, the criminal justice student organization at Dalton State College, hosts a panel to discuss human trafficking and warning signs on Tuesday, Nov. 19 at 7:30 p.m. in Gignilliat Memorial Hall, room 146. The event is free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be provided.

Dr. Natalie Johnson, associate professor of criminal justice, said she was inspired to host the human trafficking panel after reading uninformed opinions on an article dedicated to enlightening the public on signs of sex trafficking.

 “Education on this topic isn’t just valuable,” she said. “It could help you save a life.”

The panel of experts will discuss what sex trafficking is, how it happens and how to decrease the risk. The panel includes individuals from the Human Trafficking taskforce and the executive director of End Slavery Georgia. Both organizations are dedicated to the lives and well-being of survivors.

“The sex-trafficking industry is one of the largest criminal enterprises, third only to drug trafficking and counterfeiting,” according to the Polaris Project; a non-profit organization committed to combatting human trafficking.

“Many believe human trafficking only happens in third-world countries or only in big cities,” Johnson said. “It happens everywhere, including the United States, big and small cities, including Dalton. Our panel discussion will highlight real world cases that are here in our own community and surrounding communities.”

She said the idea of this panel is to inform the community to help prevent the exploitation of innocent individuals. Parents and those who work with children and teens would benefit from attending the panel discussion.

 “Parents need to be aware of what apps to look for on their children’s devices and know what apps that kids and teens use to hide certain social media apps,” Johnson said.

The audience will learn about evidence needed to prosecute a case, why these cases are so hard to prosecute and how to better identify a possible victim. Myths surrounding this issue will also be discussed. 

 “To me, everyone should attend because we all have a role to play in eradicating these horrific crimes,” Johnson said.