January is National Human Trafficking Prevention Month, marking the anniversary of the passage of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000. The Missouri Department of Transportation has joined forces with the Missouri State Highway Patrol and local law enforcement to combat the crime of human trafficking in the Show-Me State.
“Human trafficking remains a growing concern in Missouri, particularly along the interstate corridors,” said MoDOT Director Patrick McKenna. “That makes uniting the efforts of everyone in the transportation sector of vital importance in combatting this rapidly expanding criminal enterprise.”
In 2018, Director McKenna signed the Transportation Leaders Against Human Trafficking pledge, committing MoDOT to providing specialized training to employees about the common indicators of human trafficking and how to report potential cases while raising public awareness of human trafficking issues impacting our state and nation.
“MoDOT workers, the Highway Patrol and commercial trucking allies are all on the front lines when it comes to combatting this horrific crime,” McKenna said. “It is vital that we continue to educate everyone on ways to recognize the signs of human trafficking and to know how to report any suspicious activity as they work and travel on one of the busiest transportation hubs in the country.”
According to the National Human Trafficking Hotline, there were 240 human trafficking cases reported in Missouri in 2021. MoDOT has provided public information about human trafficking and continues to train employees about the common indicators of human trafficking and how to report potential cases.
If you suspect someone is being forced to engage in any activity from which they can’t leave—whether it is commercial sex, housework, farm work or other activity—call the National Human Trafficking Resource Center hotline at 1-888-373-7888 or text BeFree (233733). Information is available online at humantraffickinghotline.org.
For more information about MoDOT’s efforts to “Put the Brakes on Human Trafficking,” go to modot.org/fighthumantrafficking or contact the MoDOT Human Resources office at 573-526-7644.