The U.S. Department of Transportation hosted a virtual seminar on December 8, a collaboration with Department leadership and industry stakeholders, to help combat human trafficking. The event underscored the important role of all aspects of the transportation industry in stopping human trafficking, and provided immediate, actionable steps all stakeholders can take to help amplify counter-trafficking efforts. More than 600 participants registered to attend the seminar.
“The transportation sector is uniquely positioned to help fight human trafficking, and the Department has launched numerous initiatives to help train transportation workers to detect and prevent it,” said Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao.
The seminar, “Combating Human Trafficking in Transportation,” opened with remarks from Secretary of Transportation Elaine L. Chao. Welcome remarks were also provided by Joel Szabat, Acting Under Secretary of Transportation for Policy, and Ambassador John Cotton Richmond, who serves as the Ambassador-at-Large and head of the Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons at the U.S. Department of State.
The event then featured three panels comprised of Transportation Leaders Against Human Trafficking stakeholders: “State & Local Efforts,” moderated by Federal Highway Administration Administrator Nicole Nason; “Private Sector and Airport Efforts,” moderated by David Short, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Aviation and International Affairs; and “NGO Efforts,” moderated by Federal Transit Administration Deputy Administrator K. Jane Williams.
This virtual event is just one of many actions the U.S. Department of Transportation has taken to combat human trafficking. In January 2020, Secretary Chao called transportation leaders to action, asking them to take a public stand against human trafficking by signing the Department’s Transportation Leaders Against Human Trafficking pledge. In response, more than 500 signatories have committed to training over 1.3 million employees across all modes of transportation to help fight human trafficking. The Department invites all transportation stakeholders to join these efforts, and sign the Transportation Leaders Against Human Trafficking pledge.