New efforts underway to combat human trafficking as cases increase across the nation


WASHINGTON D.C. (NEXSTAR) — New efforts are underway in the capitol to combat human trafficking. This as the U.S. Department of Transportation reports human trafficking cases are up 25% since 2017.

“Most people still have no clue that it even exists.”

– Attorney General Sean Reyes (R-Utah)

The biggest players in the fight against human trafficking traveled to Washington to shine a spotlight on the crime Tuesday.

AG Sean Reyes says the types of trafficking range from sex exploitation to forced labor and can affect anyone.

“When it comes to fighting modern day slavery, there is no red or blue. This is not a Republican issue or a Democrat issue. This is a human issue.”

– Attorney General Sean Reyes (R-Utah)

While Utah is home to one of the lowest rates of human trafficking, Georgia has one of the highest. The state’s First Lady, Marty Kemp, is pushing a statewide training program to change that.

“To raise awareness, seek justice for victims, hold the bad actors accountable.”

– Georgia’s First Lady, Marty Kemp

Texas Democrat Henry Cuellar says Congress backs these efforts on a federal level: “Monies have been appropriated, but we have to work together.”

Secretary Elaine Chao says the U.S. Department of Transportation is leading the charge by encouraging companies to commit to educating employees like flight attendants and truck drivers to recognize and report the signs of human trafficking.

“Training over one million employees to help fight human trafficking. That’s incredible news.”

– Secretary Elaine Chao, Dept. of Transportation

Secretary Chao is now challenging others in the transportation industry to commit to 100 more pledges in the next 100 days.

Chao says her department is also developing training resources tailored to each mode of transportation and awarding grants to support state efforts.

“To make the transportation sector a more effective force against the evil that is human trafficking.”

– Secretary Elaine Chao, Dept. of Transportation

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