USDOT recognizes National Human Trafficking Prevention Month

Feb. 1, 2024
USDOT has opened the 2024 Combating Human Trafficking in Transportation Impact Award and launched the Transportation Leaders Against Human Trafficking awareness campaign to combat human trafficking.

The U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) has opened the 2024 Combating Human Trafficking in Transportation Impact Award in recognition of National Human Trafficking Prevention Month. 

“The horrors of human trafficking are far reaching, but together, we have the power to detect and prevent them,” said USDOT Secretary Pete Buttigieg. “We’re empowering America’s transportation workforce and the traveling public—hundreds of millions strong—to be the eyes and ears of a collective effort to combat trafficking.” 

The award aims to incentivize individuals and organizations to think creatively in developing innovative solutions to combat human trafficking in the transportation industry and to share those innovations with the broader community.

USDOT has also launched the Transportation Leaders Against Human Trafficking (TLAHT) awareness campaign. The effort aims to educate and empower travelers and employees across all modes of transportation to recognize and report suspected instances of human trafficking. A variety of materials are available for download and can be tailored for use by transportation entities across the country to help raise awareness. Materials have been developed for use in airplanes and airports, buses and bus stations, trains and rail stations, rest areas and travel centers, ports and other places where human trafficking may occur. Campaign materials include a QR code that links to mode-specific indicators and reporting methods.   

Additional actions that the department is taking to combat human trafficking include: 

  • Operating Administrations across USDOT are using social media to encourage aviation, motor carrier, rail, transit and pipeline stakeholders to strengthen their counter-trafficking efforts  
  • The department’s counter-trafficking initiative is reaching hundreds of transportation stakeholders through an in-person event with the department of Homeland Security (DHS) highlighting the joint USDOT/DHS Blue Lightning Initiative (BLI).  BLI trains aviation industry personnel to identify potential traffickers and human trafficking victims and to report their suspicions to Federal law enforcement through in-flight and on the ground reporting methods. To date, more than 130 aviation industry partners have trained more than 350,000 employees through BLI and actionable tips continue to be reported to law enforcement. Participation is open to any U.S. aviation industry organization and to international air carriers serving the U.S.  
  • The Federal Transit Administration is hosting a Human Trafficking Prevention Month Webinar highlighting transit-specific resources developed as part of an FTA-funded grant to prevent crime and human trafficking at smaller transit agencies. 

Some of the other ways in which the department is working to combat human trafficking include: 

  • Secretary Pete Buttigieg is a member of the President’s Interagency Task Force to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons, a Cabinet-level entity chaired by the Secretary of State to coordinate Federal anti-human trafficking efforts.
  • The USDOT Advisory Committee on Human Trafficking (ACHT) held two public meetings in 2023 that highlighted promising strategies to counter human trafficking across transportation networks. The ACHT will deliver a report with recommendations and an assessment of best practices. 
  • USDOT has developed counter-trafficking awareness training that is tailored specifically for transportation employees and travelers. The department’s “Combating Human Trafficking in the Transportation Sector Awareness Training” for transportation personnel underscores the intersection of human trafficking and transportation, provides general and transport-specific indicators of human trafficking and gives specific information on how to report suspected trafficking.
  • USDOT's TLAHT initiative comprises nearly 600 transportation and travel industry stakeholders working jointly to maximize their collective impact in combating human trafficking across all modes of transportation. Stakeholders can join the effort by signing the TLAHT pledge and accessing modal counter-trafficking resources online. TLAHT pledge signatories include airports and airlines, urban and rural transit agencies, trucking and bus companies, ports, railways, state departments of transportation, industry associations, states, cities and non-governmental organizations.

More information on USDOT's efforts to combat human trafficking can be found here.