WASHINGTON – U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg today called upon all transportation stakeholders to join the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) in the fight against human trafficking.
“Human trafficking takes place on every mode of transportation in America – and we must change that,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. “I ask all transportation professionals to join this effort, and it’s equally important for commuters and travelers to be empowered to recognize and report signs of human trafficking anywhere it happens in our transportation systems.”
Secretary Buttigieg’s remarks come as the Department announces the recipient of its annual $50,000 “Combating Human Trafficking in Transportation Impact Award,” which provides resources for individuals and organizations that are developing innovative initiatives to combat human trafficking in the transportation sector. These could include new technology, tools, or campaigns. The award was established in late 2019 after a recommendation by the Department’s Advisory Committee on Human Trafficking.
As the first-place awardee, the A21 Campaign is expanding its Can You See Me? Roadside Billboard Initiative of 1,000 counter-trafficking billboards in 46 cities across the U.S. The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development earned second place for its Combating Silence: Increasing Awareness to Louisiana Human Trafficking proposal to reach up to 5.3 million road users. Busing on the Lookout received third place for its Capturing Innovation to Build Public Transit’s Capacity to Combat Human Trafficking proposal that will engage up to 72 transit agencies to increase human trafficking training, partnerships, awareness, and reporting among transit agencies throughout the country.
Today’s awards follow the recent release of the Biden-Harris Administration’s National Action Plan (NAP) to Combat Human Trafficking, a whole-of-government approach that prioritizes combating human trafficking through prevention, protection, prosecution, and partnerships. As part of its commitment to support the NAP, DOT will increase stakeholder engagement, expand training and awareness for transportation employees and the traveling public, and continue to ensure that states permanently ban drivers convicted of human trafficking from operating a commercial motor vehicle for which a commercial driver’s license or a commercial learner’s permit is required.
Some of the other ways in which DOT is working to combat human trafficking include:
- The Department is a member of the President’s Interagency Task Force to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons (PITF), a Cabinet-level entity chaired by the Secretary of State to coordinate Federal efforts to combat trafficking in persons.
- The Department’s Transportation Leaders Against Human Trafficking (TLAHT) initiative comprises more than 500 transportation and travel industry stakeholders working jointly to maximize their collective impact in combating human trafficking across all modes of transportation. Stakeholders can sign the TLAHT pledge by clicking here.
- DOT continues to underscore the important role transportation ministries have in combating human trafficking through its participation in multilateral organizations, including the International Civil Aviation Organization, the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation Transportation Working Group, and the International Transport Forum.
For more information about the Department’s efforts to end human trafficking, click here.
Released by the U.S. Department of Transportation. Click HERE for Source.