WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) hosted a virtual seminar today, Dec. 8, to help combat human trafficking. The event, a collaboration between DOT leadership and industry stakeholders, 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 seminar, “Combating Human Trafficking in Transportation,” opened with remarks from Secretary of Transportation Elaine L. Chao.
“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,” Chao said.
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 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 one of numerous actions DOT has taken to combat human trafficking. In January, 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 more than 1.3 million employees across all modes of transportation to help fight human trafficking.
The DOT’s Advisory Committee on Human Trafficking (ACHT) report provides tools and resources to guide transportation leaders in their countertrafficking efforts. The DOT website also includes resources for transportation stakeholders related to combating human trafficking.
To sign the Transportation Leaders Against Human Trafficking pledge, click here.
To see Chao’s opening remarks, click here.
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