The Missouri Department of Transportation is joining other transportation stakeholders to help fight human trafficking.
As a signatory to the Transportation Leaders Against Human Trafficking (TLAHT) pledge, MoDOT will voluntarily commit to educating employees and raising public awareness of human trafficking issues impacting our state and nation. Employees will receive specialized training about the common indicators of human trafficking and how to report potential cases.
The Transportation Leaders Against Human Trafficking pledge is an initiative of the U.S. Department of Transportation that involves transportation and travel industry stakeholders working jointly to combat human trafficking. MoDOT has provided education about human trafficking over the years and hopes this national partnership will bring additional awareness to the issue.
“We may not think that human trafficking is happening around us, but the truth is, it’s happening in cities and small communities all across America,” MoDOT Interim Motor Carrier Services Director Steve Meystrik said.
Those involved in human trafficking are using roadways, railways, waterways and skies. Kansas City, St. Louis, Branson, and locations along the I-44 corridor including Rolla, Springfield and Joplin are the most common locations in Missouri for human trafficking cases to be reported.
In 2017, Missouri had the 16th highest number of human trafficking cases reported of all 50 states and Washington, D.C., Meystrik said.
The board of directors of the Mid-America Association of State Transportation Officials (MAASTO) recently signed the pledge. MAASTO includes Missouri, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky, and Kansas.
In addition, more than 200 organizations throughout the transportation industry have taken the pledge. The initiative also supports one of MoDOT’s core values of safety.