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ATLANTA, Georgia – The FBI Atlanta Field Office announced this week that 231 missing and exploited children were rescued in May as part of Operation Safe Summer (OSS).
OSS was a collaborative effort by local, state and federal agencies in Georgia.
According to the National Center for Missing Exploited Children (NCMEC):
-In 2018, more than 23,500 runaways were reported to NCMEC and one in seven were likely victims of child sex trafficking.
-In 2016, 11% of endangered runaways were believed to be involved in gangs.
It is estimated as of March 2019, there were 419 missing/runaway children on the streets of the five-county Metro Atlanta region.
“Thanks to the month-long efforts of our partners, 231 children are no longer vulnerable to predators who would seek to exploit them,” said Chris Hacker, special agent in charge of FBI Atlanta. “Operation Safe Summer is another example of the FBI’s commitment to protecting our children before they become victims.”
OSS was conducted near the start of the summer season to raise awareness and send an important message at a time the community’s children are most vulnerable to becoming targets for exploitation.