Today, the Department of Homeland Security’s Blue Campaign and the Department of Transportation (DOT) hosted a transportation industry stakeholder event. The event brought together leadership from both departments, as well as representatives from airline, rail, bus, and trucking companies to talk about how the transportation industry can support the fight to end human trafficking.
Human trafficking takes many forms—forced labor, domestic servitude, and sex trafficking—but all of it is an insidious crime that can victimize anyone, anywhere. Traffickers use our country’s transportation systems to move their victims from place to place as part of their horrific criminal activities. That’s why DOT and the transportation industry are such valuable partners in the Blue Campaign’s work to end human trafficking.
To combat this heinous crime in our nation’s transportation systems, we rely on the eyes and ears on the front lines—in our airplanes, at our rest stops, and on our highways. The Blue Lightning Initiative, a joint effort between DHS and DOT, is one example of our collaboration with the transportation sector. Through the Blue Lightning Initiative, DHS and DOT train airline partners to identify potential traffickers and their victims, and report their suspicions to federal law enforcement. The Blue Campaign also continues to work with Amtrak: Since 2012, the Blue Campaign has partnered and trained thousands of its police officers to recognize the signs of human trafficking. Amtrak continues to share the Blue Campaign’s awareness materials at train stations around the country.
By continuing to raise public awareness of human trafficking and by encouraging more of the transportation industry to join the fight, today’s event was an important step forward in our continued efforts to combat this crime.
You can help combat human trafficking, too. When you’re traveling this summer, be on the lookout for indicators of human trafficking and learn how to report suspected cases. For more information, visit the Blue Campaign’s website at https://www.dhs.gov/bluecampaign.