Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao on Jan. 28 announced fresh efforts to combat human trafficking in the transportation sector.
“The U.S. Department of Transportation is committed to working with our public and private partners to fight human trafficking on America’s transportation system,” said Chao.
Joined at an event with leaders from Congress, state governments and the transportation industry, Chao renewed focus on the “Transportation Leaders After Human Trafficking” pledge.
She challenged the transportation industry to commit to “100 Pledges in 100 Days,” which would result in over 1 million employees receiving training.
Human trafficking is modern-day slavery, affecting millions of adults and children in the United States and worldwide. Some are trafficked within their own communities on various forms of transportation, while others are transported to new locations.
Chao established an annual $50,000 award to incentivize individuals and entities to think creatively in developing innovative solutions to combat human trafficking in the transportation industry.
During 2019, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration awarded over $1 million in grants to combat human trafficking through licensing programs.
DOT also recognized the NATSO Foundation as a leader in the transportation sector’s fight against human trafficking.
“Combatting human trafficking begins with awareness and education – for our employees and the customers we serve,” Lisa Mullings, NATSO Foundation President and NATSO CEO, said. “Every January, during National Human Trafficking Awareness month, we reaffirm our commitment to this important cause and to doing all we can to advance public awareness because we know that private enterprises are making a meaningful difference in the fight against this horrific crime.”