NY: CDTA piloting national PACT campaign

Jan. 16, 2024
The campaign will focus on educating CDTA Bus Operators, customers, and the community on how to identify the signs of trafficking and how to safely report it.

Jan. 11—ALBANY, N.Y. — The Capital District Transportation Authority (CDTA) is participating in a new campaign to raise awareness of and put an end to child sex trafficking.

According to a press release, the research-based campaign is called Transit Against Child Trafficking (TACT). It is part of a partnership with Protect All Children from Trafficking (PACT, formerly ECPAT-USA). It will focus on educating CDTA Bus Operators, customers, and the community on how to identify the signs of trafficking and how to safely report it. CDTA is part of the campaign's pilot, the first organization to benefit from the program's implementation.

TACT leverages decades of expertise with some of the nation's leading experts on mass transit and data analytics. It is part of a federally funded project, led in partnership with a team of researchers who will produce one of the only national reports about child sex trafficking at the intersection of public transportation to paint a more accurate picture of the landscape. The pilot campaign is designed in collaboration with PACT Survivors' Council members.

"Through our research and our many conversations with survivors, PACT recognizes that sex traffickers exploit public transportation to move their victims in plain sight of people going about their day," PACT CEO Lori Cohen said in the release. "Through this campaign, we will equip public transportation riders and employees with credible information to increase their awareness about child sex trafficking and the tools to respond to it safely."

TACT will eventually be launched at other transit agencies across the country, will include social media, email communications, advertisements in and around public transit locations, signage in and on buses and trains, within transit authority offices, and training developed for transit employees. The Department of Transportation Advisory Committee on Human Trafficking Research, Analysis, and Information Sharing Subcommittee has acknowledged a lack of national data on the intersections between transportation industries and human trafficking.

Typically, data is fragmented, with only regional numbers and local statistics available in the country, failing to provide a holistic view of the issue.

"CDTA is proud to be a leader in educating the public on this important issue," CDTA CEO Carm Basile said in the release. "The DOT created an advisory council because they recognize the work that needs to be done across the transit industry. Educating the community on what signs to look for and how to report potential incidents safely and effectively without causing further harm makes our region as a whole safer.

"If we can contribute in some small way to make a difference, we have a responsibility to our community and those children to participate."

More information about TACT can be found at https://www.wearepact.org/tact-campaign.


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