In recognition of National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month, Tiffany Wlazlowski Neuman of the NATSO Foundation is urging the truckstop and travel plaza industry to continue fulfilling its commitment and responsibility to combat human trafficking.
Wlazlowski Neuman, on Friday, reminded companies throughout the country of the various resources that the NATSO Foundation makes available to help in this effort.
"A new year marks the perfect time to take a step back and consider what we can all do, whether we are entering the fight for the first time or building upon an existing commitment to help eradicate human trafficking," said Wlazlowski Neuman. "Truckstops and their employees are uniquely positioned to recognize and help people who may be victims of human trafficking, but awareness and education are critical first steps. Simply recognizing common indicators of human trafficking and reporting suspected cases to the appropriate authorities can save lives, and the NATSO Foundation helps the industry take these important steps."
Through its How Truckstops Help People campaign, the NATSO Foundation has developed a comprehensive education and training program to inform and equip truckstop and travel plaza owners, operators and employees with strategies and protocols to help identify and assist individuals who may be human trafficking victims.
The NATSO Foundation's resources, which Wlazlowski Neuman developed in conjunction with the Foundation's Board of Directors, include:
Online Education: "'The Role of Truckstops in Combating Human Trafficking' is a free online learning initiative that delivers comprehensive educational and safety training materials to truckstop owners, operators and employees," Wlazlowski Neuman said.
Toolkit: A 'Combating Human Trafficking' toolkit offers truckstops and travel centers a roadmap for implementing an anti-human trafficking education and awareness program at their individual locations.
Legal Compliance: The NATSO Foundation recently published a 50-state chart of human trafficking awareness poster laws to help businesses comply with the myriad state laws on posting human trafficking awareness materials. Any company interested in obtaining a copy of this document can access it on the NATSO Foundation website.
Collateral: Through partnerships with the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Transportation, the NATSO Foundation provides public awareness materials, such as posters, handouts and other materials, to the nation's truckstops and travel plazas for use in their locations. Also, by participating in the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children's High-Risk Child Poster Listserv, truckstop owners and operators can share posters with their customers that help increase the visibility of missing children at high risk for trafficking.
Partnerships: NATSO co-sponsors regional coalition meetings with Truckers Against Trafficking, state trucking associations and law enforcement to educate members of the business community, transportation and law enforcement about human trafficking.