USDOT announces new efforts to combat human trafficking
With a united effort, USDOT aims to raise awareness, recognise signs and report human trafficking instances to protect vulnerable individuals and eliminate this crime throughout the country.
The US Department of Transportation (USDOT) has announced that it is raising awareness to combat human trafficking in the country with various initiatives, including new collaboration among transportation sector leaders and recognition of innovation at the state and local level.
“Transportation workers and the travelling public have a key role to play in the fight against human trafficking – which is why it’s so important for everyone to recognise the signs and be prepared to report it,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg.
To address the issue, USDOT appointed 15 members to the Advisory Committee on Human Trafficking, consisting of representatives from various transportation sectors, law enforcement and trafficking advocacy organisations. The committee will develop recommendations for countering human trafficking, focusing on commercial motor vehicles.
USDOT has also awarded the 2023 Combating Human Trafficking in Transportation Impact Award to three innovative projects. The winners include an awareness campaign for the maritime industry, a comprehensive approach by Houston Airports and a higher education toolkit by Bowling Green State University.
In addition, Secretary Buttigieg has announced the release of the Transportation Leaders Against Human Trafficking (TLAHT) training, which provides resources and reporting methods for transportation employees and the travelling public. The TLAHT has garnered support from nearly 600 stakeholders in the transportation and travel industry.
USDOT has taken further steps to combat human trafficking, such as encouraging maritime and pipeline stakeholders to strengthen their efforts and conducting joint training with the Department of Homeland Security for Amtrak ticket office employees.
Other ongoing efforts include the Blue Lightning Initiative, which trains aviation industry personnel to identify potential traffickers and victims, and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s ‘Your Roads, Their Freedom’ campaign, which educates the commercial motor vehicle industry about recognising and reporting suspected instances of human trafficking.
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