NATSO President and CEO Lisa Mullings discussed the anti-human trafficking initiative built by the NATSO Foundation over the past decade at a "No Room for Trafficking Summit" held by the American Hotel and Lodging Association on July 11.
AHLA hosted the event to engage the hospitality industry with public and private sector partners and to discuss emerging trends, areas of innovation and to explore mutual areas of support. Mullings highlighted the NATSO Foundation's longstanding commitment to education and public awareness, and the multi-faceted anti-trafficking campaign that the Foundation has built over the last decade.
Mullings was joined on a travel sector panel by Craig Purser, President & CEO of the National Beer Wholesalers Association, and Michael Billet, Director of Policy Research for Employment Policy at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
Panelists discussed the misconceptions that surround human trafficking as well the critical role that the travel sector and private businesses are taking to help identify and report suspected incidents of trafficking.
More than a decade ago, the NATSO Foundation became one of the first transportation organizations to join the Department of Transportation’s national stakeholder group, Transportation Leaders Against Human Trafficking. As part of this group, NATSO played an instrumental role in developing the national ad campaign “Put the Brakes on Human Trafficking,” which is used across many modes of transportation today, including the rail, bus and airline industries.
The NATSO Foundation continues to form partnerships and develop the tools that truck stops and travel centers need to to implement anti-human trafficking initiatives tailored to their specific locations.
Current parnterships include the Department of Homeland Security, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, Truckers Against Trafficking, Polaris Project and others. NATSO also served on the U.S. Department of Transportation Human Trafficking Advisory Council, which developed guidelines for state DOT human trafficking initiatives. NATSO served as Vice Chair of the Council’s Subcommittee on Awareness and Training.
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.
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