The rescue mission focused on locating and rescuing endangered missing children in Atlanta and Macon, Georgia.
Through a rescue mission called “Operation Not Forgotten”, 26 missing children in Georgia have been rescued and another 13 endangered children have been determined to be held in safe locations.
The U.S. Marshals Service news release stated that many of the predators holding the children had multiple warrants and are now facing charges on parental kidnapping, drugs and weapons possession, registered sex offender violations, and sex trafficking. According to officials, these children were located in 20 various Georgia counties. Individual homes, motels, and apartment complexes were among some of the locations where these children were being trafficked for sex. With the ages ranging from 3 to 17 years old, one can only imagine the horrors these children had to face.
US Marshals Service Director Donald Washington made a powerful statement Thursday, “The message to missing children and their families is that we will never stop looking for you.”
Darby Kirby, the man who heads up the Marshals’ Missing Child Unit, also expressed his feelings regarding the fight against child trafficking. “It’s hard to put into words what we feel when we rescue a missing child, but I can tell you that this operation has impacted every single one of us out here. We are working to protect them and get them the help they need," Darby said.
There is a war on the individual freedoms and rights of men, women, and children all around the world, and people like Donald Washington and Darby Kirby are essential in this fight.
According to Love146.org, an estimated 40.3 million people are being trafficked and exploited worldwide—25 percent of which are children. With human trafficking being such an underground criminal enterprise, there tends to be gaps in the reports, which result in a significant undercounting of actual offenses.
According to the National Institute of Justice, “Crime statistics on human trafficking are only as solid as the crime date informing them. Recent NIJ-supported research reveals that labor and sex trafficking data appearing in the FBI’s national Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program, may significantly understate the extent of human trafficking crime in the United States."
Researchers have found that official trafficking numbers identified in law enforcement and social service agency records represent as little as 14 to 18 percemt of the potential victims.
With rescue missions like Operation Not Forgotten and non-profits such as Operation Underground Railroad (OUR) and S.A.F.E. Rockies, which is located in Colorado, the chains of modern day slavery are slowly being broken.
As for now, thank you to all the heroes that make it their purpose in life to stop this horrific abuse. With the help of people all around the world, we can help stop the trafficking, force, fraud, and coercion of innocent individuals worldwide.