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ODOT: January is Human Trafficking Awareness Month

Learn the signs, get involved

For more information, contact Tom Strandberg 541-663-6261                                                                        [email protected]

SALEM – Recognizing what human trafficking looks like and knowing it is happening are the first steps in bringing it to an end. Our many ODOT employees on Oregon roads and transit systems know the signs and are there to help.

January is Human Trafficking Awareness Month, and we’re among numerous federal, state and local agencies, non-profit groups and other organizations working to enlighten everyone to watch for signs of human trafficking and report activities that could save others. The U.S. Department of Transportation estimates that more than 27 million people are trafficked against their will and forced into labor and prostitution around the world.

This week, as part of the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance’s Human Trafficking Awareness Initiative event, our Commerce and Compliance Division safety inspectors, motor carrier enforcement officers, and law enforcement partners will distribute information to truck drivers.

There are things you can do to help prevent trafficking:

• Jan. 11, 2023, is “Wear Blue Day” to raise human trafficking awareness – Learn More about #WearBlueDay. Ask your company to participate in “Wear Blue Day” and share the information with others.

• Jan. 12, 2023, 9:30 a.m., the Oregon Department of Justice human trafficking intervention advisory committee is sponsoring a networking event on Zoom. View more information from the Oregon Department of Justice regarding human trafficking.

• Learn more at the Transportation Leaders Against Human Trafficking website sponsored by the U.S. Department of Transportation.

• Visit the Truckers Against Trafficking website. This nonprofit “is raising up a mobile army of transportation professionals to assist law enforcement in the recognition and reporting of human trafficking, in order to aid in the recovery of victims and the arrest of their perpetrators.”

In 2020, ODOT Director Kris Strickler signed the Transportation Leaders Against Human Trafficking pledge. This pledge calls on transportation industry leaders to work together to end human trafficking by raising public awareness, sharing data, and educating employees to recognize the signs.

Each of us can get involved in many ways, but the most important thing we can do is educate ourselves about the problem.

If you see something or are concerned about a change in behavior of someone you know, get help from the National Human Trafficking Hotline, 1-888-373-7888. This national toll-free hotline answers calls from anywhere in the country, any time of day. The hotline is operated by a nongovernmental organization. You can also text HELP or INFO to 233733 (BEFREE). If someone is in immediate danger – call 911.

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