White House unveils plan to combat human trafficking

By Clarissa Kell-Holland, Land Line staff writer | 4/9/2013

On Tuesday, April 9, the White House hosted a forum to combat human trafficking and unveiled a draft of the administration’s “Federal Strategic Action Plan on Services for Victims of Human Trafficking.”

Janet Napolitano, secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security; Valerie Jarrett, senior advisor to President Obama; and U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder released the draft, which will be open for public comment for 45 days.

The plan calls for using technology to fight trafficking by providing law enforcement agencies with “cutting-edge technology” to bring traffickers to justice. The plan also calls for a five-year plan to “coordinate and strengthen services for trafficking victims” in the U.S. It also would provide pro bono legal services to combat human trafficking and strengthen protections against trafficking activities in the federal supply chain.

The White House estimates that more than 20 million people worldwide are victims of human trafficking.

OOIDA is partnering with the nonprofit group, Truckers Against Trafficking, as well as the U.S. Department of Transportation and others in the trucking industry to develop a plan to combat human trafficking.

OOIDA, as well as representatives from the transportation industry, has been meeting with U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood after President Obama instructed his administration to increase its efforts to combat human trafficking at the Clinton Global Initiative Annual Meeting in September 2012.

Truckers who spot potential human trafficking out on the road or at rest areas or truck stops are urged to call the Polaris Project’s national hotline number at 888-373-7888. They are urged not to approach the potential trafficker, but to let the hotline operators contact the Federal Bureau of Investigations as well as local law enforcement to report the incident.

Truckers can stop by OOIDA HQ and pick up TAT wallet cards with the number and other information to educate themselves about spotting signs of human trafficking. OOIDA’s tour truck, “The Spirit of the American Trucker,” also has TAT wallet cards available.

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