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Report Release: January 31, 2024

Intersection of Human Trafficking and Transportation

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 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.  

NOST Report Quick Stats


Survey respondents shared their knowledge, recommendations, and challenges in counter-trafficking efforts


Of 3,551 respondents were concerned about misidentifying signs of human trafficking


Of 2,773 respondents felt human trafficking was a problem nationally; 25% felt there was a problem near their home


Of 155 human trafficking survivors said they were relocated by their human trafficker


Of 40 service providers said it is difficult to obtain transportation resources in their area

Data Highlights on Training


Of 3,467 respondents preferred human trafficking training to be one hour long and 31% prefer thirty minutes


Different sectors confirmed their desire to be trained on labor trafficking

Aviation - 60%
Roadway - 60%
Railway - 76%
Maritime - 76%
Transit - 64%
Law Enforcement - 72%

Of 3,139 respondents wanted to learn about labor trafficking in their human trafficking training

Recommended citation for the NOST report

Wigle, C., & Baglin, C. (Eds.). (2023). National Outreach Survey for Transportation: Combating Human Trafficking by Listening to Experiences, Challenges, and Recommendations of Frontline Workers and Those with Lived Experience (2021). United Against Slavery.

Collaborative Research Model



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