USDOT Building an “Army” of Transportation Leaders to Combat Human Trafficking
Washington D.C. – U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao says the Department is building an “army” of leaders across all modes of the transportation sector to combat human trafficking.
Delivering the keynote address at a virtual forum hosted by Voices Against Trafficking on Thursday, Sec. Chao said human traffickers continue to use the world’s roadways, railways, and airways, but that the Department is intent on bringing the suffering to an end.
“Over the past several months, the world’s focus has appropriately been on COVID-19, but meanwhile human trafficking continues to be a worldwide scourge that also demands immediate attention and action,” Sec. Chao said. “We are intent on making the transportation sector a more effective force against human trafficking.”
Sec. Chao expressed the transportation industry in the U.S. and around the world is “uniquely positioned to help save victims of human trafficking and help law enforcement in apprehending the perpetrators.”
That’s why in January 2020, Sec. Chao says she called on transportation leaders to take a public stand against human trafficking by signing the Department’s Transportation Leaders Against Human Trafficking pledge.
To date, more than 500 signatories have committed to training over 1.3 million employees across all modes of transportation to help fight human trafficking.
The Transportation Leaders Against Human Trafficking initiative comprises transportation and travel industry stakeholders working jointly to maximize their collective impact in combating human trafficking.
“That is an army of people who will be on the lookout to help save victims and also help law enforcement catch the guilty,” the Secretary proclaimed.
Also this year, the Department’s Federal Transit Administration awarded $5.4 million to 24 organizations from across the U.S. to support the prevention of human trafficking and other crimes that may occur on buses, trains, and other forms of public transportation.
In 2019, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) awarded over $1 million in grants to combat human trafficking through driver’s license standards and programs.
“You know it’s shocking to learn that in this day and age something as horrible as human trafficking exists, but it is happening in cities, suburbs, and rural areas. We must and we can stop it,” Sec. Chao exclaimed.
The Department’s Advisory Committee on Human Trafficking has recently provided a report with helpful tools and resources to guide transportation leaders in their counter-trafficking efforts.
You can view it HERE.