As an industry our efforts to combat human trafficking take place year-round. But January is a dedicated time to raise human trafficking awareness.
During National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month, the NATSO Foundation encourages truckstops and travel plazas nationwide to renew their commitment to our longstanding anti-human trafficking initiative.
This year, I'm asking you to begin your 2021 efforts in earnest on Jan. 11: National Human Trafficking Awareness Day.
NATSO members are invited on Jan. 11 to participate in #WearBlueDay sponsored by the Department of Homeland Security’s Blue Campaign to raise public awareness about the crime of human trafficking.
#WearBlueDay represents an opportunity to kick-start a year-long online conversation about the crime of human trafficking and to spread online awareness about the truckstop and travel plaza industry’s extensive efforts to combat this crime.
The internet is a primary recruiting mechanism for child sex trafficking. During the COVID-19 pandemic, many children are spending more time on the Internet potentially increasing their exposure to human traffickers.
On Jan. 11 I encourage you to post a photo of yourself wearing blue on social media with the hashtag #WearBlueDay. Encourage employees, friends, family, and colleagues to do the same. Be sure to tag NATSO so that I can reshare your picture. (You can find NATSO on Twitter at @NATSO_Inc and Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/
Here are a few ways you can participate on Jan. 11:
- Snap a selfie. Wear blue (whether it is a shirt, uniform, or hat) take a photo of yourself, and post it to social media using #WearBlueDay.
- Share a video. Create a video explaining why your company participates in #WearBlueDay. Post it on social media with #WearBlueDay.
- Take a group photo. Use a virtual meeting to encourage participation in #WearBlueDay and take a screen shot to post on social media.
- Challenge your friends, family, or colleagues. Urge your friends, family, or colleagues to get creative with their #WearBlueDay photos and see who comes up with the best picture. Remember to share on social media with #WearBlueDay.
The DHS Blue Campaign has been a longstanding NATSO partner in combating human trafficking. Through its alliance with the DHS Blue Campaign, the NATSO Foundation provides the DHS Blue Campaign’s training and awareness materials – including posters, handouts and other materials — to truckstops and travel plazas.
The NATSO Foundation offers these resources along with many other public awareness and education tools, including the NATSO Foundation’s online course, “The Role of Truckstops in Combating Human Trafficking” and industry toolkit “Combating Human Trafficking.”
The NATSO Foundation also works closely with the Department of Transportation, National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, Truckers Against Trafficking and Polaris Project. 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.
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