Trade group American Trucking Associations and Lowell-based carrier J.B. Hunt Transport Services Inc. announced Wednesday (Jan. 29) their support of the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Transportation Leaders Against Human Trafficking initiative.
U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao launched the initiative that urges transportation industry leaders to combat human trafficking through employee education, raising public awareness and sharing data to measure the impact of the effort.
“Victims of this crime are often hidden in plain sight at places our employees frequent daily, such as rest stops and truck stops,” said Greer Woodruff, senior vice president of corporate safety, security and driver personnel at J.B. Hunt. “As part of our company’s safety culture, J.B. Hunt employees are trained on recognizing the warning signs of trafficking and how to report suspicious activity. We proudly support the U.S. Department of Transportation’s initiative and are committed to helping end human trafficking.”
As many as 24.9 million men, women and children are victims of human trafficking, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation. J.B. Hunt provides employees with training during orientation on the issues of human trafficking, and the company provides guidance and raises awareness on how they combat it. J.B. Hunt also has working relationships with local, state and federal law enforcement and other agencies to take on the issue.
American Trucking Associations announced Wednesday it had signed the Department of Transportation’s Transportation Leaders Against Human Trafficking pledge.
“ATA has been a strong supporter of anti-trafficking measures — from our involvement in Truckers Against Trafficking to using our educational tools like America’s Road Team to raise awareness of this serious crime,” said ATA President and CEO Chris Spear. “Today, we are proud to reaffirm our commitment to the cause by taking DOT’s Transportation Leaders Against Human Trafficking pledge.”
On Jan. 28, Chao announced $5.4 million in grants as part of the Federal Transit Administration’s Human Trafficking Awareness and Public Safety Initiative. Twenty-four organizations across the nation will receive funding for projects to help prevent human trafficking and other crimes on public transportation.
“The U.S. Department of Transportation is committed to working with our public and private partners to fight human trafficking on America’s transportation system,” Chao said.