The End It Movement, introduced at the Passion Conference this year and official launched Feb. 1, aims to raise awareness and eventually end slavery and human trafficking. Roswell Rotary has joined the movement and had several speakers talk to the club the day before the movement’s launch.
“We think Rotary is an important part of this process, not just as business leaders and civic leaders, but because we’re all over the world,” said Roswell Rotary Immediate Past President Dave McCleary.
District 45 State Sen. Renee Unterman thanked the Rotary club for their support in ending slavery and human trafficking. Unterman has led the way in the state Senate to introduce legislation against the commercial sexual exploitation of children. She said she was shocked to find out what was happening right in Atlanta back in 2006 and since then has been fighting for children in these situations.
The revelation came through a meeting with Scott Weimer, senior pastor of North Avenue Presbyterian Church in Atlanta. He told Unterman that several children were hanging out in front of the church one winter, and after a few weeks of noticing this he found out they were waiting for cars to stop at the traffic lights and offering sexual favors for money.
Unterman said it was hard to believe, but when she verified through nonprofits and agencies that this was a real problem she decided something had to be done.
“What could be more important that we can do than take care of these children,” she said.
Human trafficking has become an issue in Georgia because of airports, harbors and major interstates, but Unterman said nonprofits have sprung up and laws are being changed to be harsher toward those exploiting women and children.
“No one wants to believe this could occur, but it does occur,” she said.
Roswell Rotary has invited Unterman before to address the issue of child exploitation, and she told them she appreciates the support and attentiveness the club has demonstrated.