Combat Human Trafficking
The NATSO Foundation is committed to working with our members and other transportation sectors to stop all forms of human trafficking in the United States.
What is Human Trafficking?
Often described as modern-day slavery, human trafficking involves the use of force, fraud, or coercion to obtain some type of labor or commercial sex act.
Approximately 18,000 persons are trafficked into the United States from over 50 countries every year, according to the Department of Homeland Security. More than 300,000 children are trafficked within the United States annually. They come from all walks of life and all ethnic backgrounds.
What NATSO Is Currently Doing
The truckstop and travel plaza industry is taking a united stand along with other transportation providers to stop the flow of human trafficking using America’s transportation system.
As an industry that caters to millions of travelers every year, truckstops and travel plazas and their employees are in a key position to help identify and stop human trafficking along America’s highway system.
NATSO works closely with the Department of Transportation, Department of Homeland Security, Truckers Against Trafficking, Polaris Project, National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and other local organizations to gain insight into best practices on how to educate our members. Our goal is to provide our members with the tools they need to train their staff so that those individuals are equipped to help if they encounter a victim of this horrible crime.
The NATSO Foundation launched an online learning tool designed to help teach truckstop owners, operators and employees how to respond if they suspect human trafficking. The course is available free of charge to any member of the truckstop and travel plaza community at https://www.natso.com/onlinelearning.
Combating Human Trafficking Toolkit
The NATSO Foundation released a “Combating Human Trafficking” toolkit to offer truckstops and travel centers a roadmap for implementing an anti-human trafficking education and awareness program at their individual locations.
In releasing the toolkit, the NATSO Foundation also introduced a 50-state chart of human trafficking awareness poster laws. The chart is designed to help members understand how to comply with state laws on human trafficking awareness. This is an important tool for truckstops and travel centers as many state laws reference businesses that provide services and amenities which many truckstop and travel plazas offer, such as overnight truck parking, food, fuel and lodging.
Through its alliance with the Department of Homeland Security's Blue Campaign, the NATSO Foundation provides the DHS Blue Campaign’s training and awareness materials – including posters, handouts and other materials — to the nation’s truckstops and travel plazas.
The NATSO Foundation co-sponsors regional meetings with Truckers Against Trafficking that bring members of the business community together with law enforcement to discuss regional human trafficking trends and collective ways to combat this crime. Approximately a half dozen of these events take place each year in various parts of the United States. For information on upcoming meetings or to participate in an event in your region, contact Tiffany Wlazlowski Neuman at 703-739-8578.
The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) has developed a High-Risk Child Poster Listserv designed to increase the visibility of missing children at high risk for sex trafficking. Businesses uniquely positioned to help identify missing children considered to be at high risk for sex trafficking can register to receive electronic posters containing their images and other vital information. Truckstop owners and operators can then share these posters with staff or hang them in a location visible to customers. To register to receive the NCMEC posters, fill out the registration form by clicking here.
Department of Homeland Security: https://www.dhs.gov/topic/human-trafficking
National Center for Missing and Exploited Children: http://www.missingkids.com/CSTT
Polaris Project: http://www.polarisproject.org/
Truckers Against Trafficking: http://www.truckersagainsttrafficking.org