The Intersection of Transportation and Human Trafficking
The global transportation industry and its associated infrastructure are the lifeblood of economic, social, and cultural growth around the world. Airlines, railroads, motorways, and the internet have connected us to a greater degree than at any other time in our history, enabling us to trade goods, exchange ideas, distribute humanitarian aid, and provide opportunity to millions of people every year. Unfortunately, the scope and scale of the industry also present significant challenges to government regulation and law enforcement, which human traffickers exploit to hide their criminal activities in plain sight.
The staggering number of movements across the globe, whether within a country, across borders, or online, make interdiction of trafficking nearly impossible without a data-driven predictive analysis to guide how governments allocate resources and energy in the space. That analysis requires comprehensive frontline data collected from across the transportation industry, as well as from sex and labor trafficking survivors and direct victim service providers; data that until now, has not been available to the counter-trafficking community.
United Against Slavery (UAS) spent six years developing a Collaborative Research Model and a comprehensive frontline data collection methodology and repository to collect, maintain, and publish human trafficking data. Our initial threads of effort included Pilot Studies in 2016 and 2018.
In early 2020, we launched the National Outreach Survey for Flight Attendants. Two of the largest Unions for Flight Attendants became a UAS Oversight Agency (OA) and distributed a custom survey link to their members. This data collected not only offered proof of our concept but also provided a treasure trove of information from frontline transportation workers, which clearly outlined challenges that the aviation industry continues to address. UAS is preparing to release a NOS for Flight Attendant Preliminary Synopsis Report in early 2021 and will release the full dataset in an open source database with the upcoming NOS for Transportation study.
We appreciate the collaboration with the following two Unions for the 2020 National Outreach Survey for Flight Attendants:
2020 USDOT Combating Human Trafficking in Transportation Impact Award
During 2020, United Against Slavery became the first-ever recipient of the USDOT Combating Human Trafficking in Transportation Impact Award.
We appreciate USDOT Secretary Chao for selecting United Against Slavery to win this award among so many worthy applicants. We extend our congratulations to Busing on the Lookout and Artwork for Freedom for their placements.
On behalf of this USDOT Impact Award, beginning September 2020, UAS is proud to introduce a comprehensive frontline survey to reach multi-modes of the transportation industry, sex and labor trafficking survivors, and direct victim service providers.
We believe that every mode of transportation can leverage frontline data collection and predictive analysis to
inform awareness and training programs
improve enforcement and preventative actions, and
improve survivor resource allocation to drive more effective outcomes over the next decade
Learn more about the 2021 National Outreach Survey for Transportation
On December 8, 2020, The U.S. Department of Transportation hosted a virtual seminar, with a collaboration with Department leadership and industry stakeholders, to help combat human trafficking.
At 4:34 in the video: Former USDOT Secretary Elaine Chao offers congratulations to United Against Slavery for winning the first-ever USDOT Combatting Human Trafficking in Transportation Impact Award.
At 1:31:15 in the video: As an NGO panelist, United Against Slavery CEO, Christi Wigle, shares about the 2021 National Outreach Survey for Transportation and issues a call-to-action.
The National Outreach Survey for Transportation (NOST) is designed to collect, categorize, and disseminate comprehensive, empirical frontline data around human trafficking in the global transportation industry. By focusing on data collected from sex and labor trafficking survivors, direct victim service providers, and across all key industry stakeholders, the NOST will help develop insights to better understand the scope, scale, and mechanisms of trafficking, to be predictive of the probability of occurrence rather than reactive to individual cases. We will provide the data on an open-source platform for analysis by researchers, government agencies, and law enforcement to help prioritize and focus limited resources to interdict and interrupt crimes before they occur.
2021 National Outreach Survey for Transportation
We are pleased to have active engagements in the United States, Brazil, The Netherlands, Canada, and Nigeria.