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Human Trafficking & Summer Travel

by Dana Davidson

There is a brutal crime plaguing our communities. It happens in plain sight but is often difficult to identify if you’re not aware of the signs. The crime is human trafficking. It takes place in our cities, suburbs, and rural areas. Victims are from all walks of life, social-economic backgrounds, genders, and races. Traffickers don’t discriminate.

These are just a few facts I have learned since joining DCG Communications’ project team. In my work, I support the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s human trafficking awareness and education program, Blue Campaign.

Blue Campaign focuses on bringing this crime out of the shadows. By collaborating with law enforcement, state and local governments, and organizations across the country, we work to raise public awareness of human trafficking and offer information on how to recognize and report it. Working with various industries, including hospitality and transportation, Blue Campaign resources are used to educate frontline employees how to recognize possible signs that someone is a victim of human trafficking. Employees are also trained in how to properly report the suspected incident.

With summer here, our work with Blue Campaign is even more important. Soon, millions of travelers will be passing through locations where sex trafficking and forced labor could be taking place, such as hotels, rest stops, and restaurants. Travelers, frontline employees, and the public are in a good position to spot and report human trafficking during these months of heightened tourism.

There are things you can do to help, and they only take a few minutes. First, I encourage everyone to learn the key indicators of human trafficking. Second, add the numbers for the National Human Trafficking Hotline (1-888-373-7888) and Homeland Security Investigations tip line (1-866-347-2423) to your phone. This will give you quick access to report a tip if you’ve seen a suspected human trafficking incident. The more people who know the signs and how to report, the more victims who can be connected to support resources. And importantly, the more traffickers brought to justice.

Human trafficking is a heinous crime. I’m proud to support a program taking steps to end it.

If you want to learn more about how human trafficking is impacting our nation and what you can do to help, visit the Blue Campaign website.