The NATSO Foundation was recognized by the Department of Transportation as a leader in the transportation sector's fight against human trafficking during a Jan. 28 event hosted by Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao in honor of National Human Trafficking Awareness Month.
Lisa Mullings, NATSO President and CEO and President of the NATSO Foundation, participated in a human trafficking awareness panel along with representatives of UPS and CSX Transportation to highlight the transportation sector's efforts to increase education and public awareness about the crime of human trafficking.
The Department of Transportation hosted the panel during an event to kick off a new campaign titled, “100 Pledges in 100 Days.”
The NATSO Foundation was one of the first transportation organizations to join the Department of Transportation’s stakeholder group, “Transportation Leaders Against Human Trafficking” when it was formed in 2012. The NATSO Foundation in 2012 pledged to join with other transportation organizations to fight human trafficking that takes place across the transportation sector. The NATSO Foundation also served as Vice Chair of a subcommittee of DOT’s Advisory Committee on Human Trafficking last year.
“When you make a public commitment, the whole organization is moving in the same direction,” Mullings said during the panel discussion. We are working as one industry and one voice. It sets the tone for our members. They know this is a priority issue for us, and our members are unified and collaborating with law enforcement.”
Mullings highlighted the NATSO Foundation’s comprehensive campaign to educate the travel plaza and truckstop industry to spot and report suspected incidents of human trafficking that take place along the Interstate Highway System. The NATSO Foundation’s goal is to provide truckstop and travel center owners and employees with the necessary tools and resources to inform the public about this serious issue and train employees on how to detect and help a potential victim.
The NATSO Foundation offers myriad resources for the truckstop and travel plaza industry to advance public awareness and education about the crime of human trafficking.
Specifically, the NATSO Foundation offers an online training course titled, “The Role of Truckstops in Combatting Human Trafficking.” Since its launch, several hundred truckstops and travel center locations across the United States have incorporated this training into their new employee training programs. The course is available free of charge to any member of the truckstop and travel plaza industry.
The NATSO Foundation also offers a toolkit that serves as a roadmap for travel centers and truckstops implementing an anti-human trafficking education and awareness program at their individual locations. The toolkit includes a 50-state chart of human trafficking awareness poster laws to help truckstops and travel centers comply with state laws on human trafficking awareness.
The NATSO Foundation also works closely with the 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.
The NATSO Foundation provides through its alliance with the Department of Homeland Security’s Blue Campaign training and awareness materials–including awareness posters that meet state requirements—to the nation’s truckstops and travel plazas.
More information on all of the NATSO Foundation initiatives to combat human trafficking can be found here.
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