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Human Trafficking

USDOT Puts the Brakes on Human Trafficking


The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) combats human trafficking by working with public and private sector stakeholders to empower transportation employees and the traveling public to recognize and report possible instances of human trafficking.  


Join the Effort and Sign the Pledge, Issue a Leader Statement, Train Employees, Raise Awareness

DOT's Transportation Leaders Against Human Trafficking (TLAHT) initiative was formed in 2012 for transportation and travel industry stakeholders to maximize the transportation industry's collective impact in combating human trafficking.  TLAHT’s focus areas are leadership, training and education, policy development, public awareness, and information sharing and analysis.  TLAHT's 500+ partners take action to combat human trafficking by issuing leadership statements, signing pledges, developing reporting protocols, training over 1.3 million employees, and conducting public awareness campaigns.  TLAHT partners include airports and airlines, urban and rural transit agencies, trucking and bus companies, railways, ports, state departments of transportation, states, and cities.

Federal Coordination

DOT is a member of the President’s Interagency Task Force (PITF) and Senior Policy Operating Group (SPOG).  The PITF is a Cabinet-level entity chaired by the Secretary of State created by the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000 (TVPA) to coordinate Federal efforts to combat trafficking in persons.  The TVPA, as amended in 2003, also established the SPOG, which consists of senior officials designated as representatives of the PITF members. The SPOG, chaired by the Department of State, coordinates interagency policy, grants and research, planning issues involving international trafficking in persons, and the implementation of the TVPA.


DOT’s 55,000 employees are trained to recognize and report human trafficking every three years with tailored trainings for bus and truck inspectors. The Department also developed a suite of trainings for the aviation, transit, rail, and motor coach industries in coordination with several partners and stakeholders.   To date, Amtrak trained 20,000 employees and 50 aviation industry partners trained over 100,000 employees under the Blue Lightning Initiative for aviation personnel.

Public Awareness

Raising public awareness is a key component of DOT's work with stakeholders, so the Department provides print-ready postersmultimodal logos, and an indicator flyer for the transportation industry.  The posters can be tailored to each partner with their logo and preferred reporting mechanisms.  We request that users sign the TLAHT pledge to utilize the posters.  DOT also co-branded and facilitated the placement of public awareness campaigns by TLAHT partners at transportation hubs and billboards across the United States, including at Dallas Fort Worth, O’Hare, JFK, LaGuardia and Dulles airports; and more than 20 Amtrak stations.  


DOT awarded over $1.5 million in grants through the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to support state counter-trafficking efforts through driver’s license standards and programs, and $5.4 million in transit grants through the Federal Transit Administration to address public safety, including human trafficking.  The Department's annual $50,000 Combating Human Trafficking in Transportation Impact Award aims to incentivize individuals and entities to think creatively in developing innovative solutions to combat human trafficking in the transportation industry, and to share those innovations with the broader community.  As the first recipient, United Against Slavery is conducting a survey of transportation stakeholders and human trafficking survivors across all modes of transportation, and will make the results available to the public.  Submissions were accepted for the 2021 annual award through March 1, 2021, and full details are available online through the Federal Register Notice.  


Several pieces of legislation have expanded DOT’s authority to combat human trafficking. These include expanding grant programs, requiring air carriers to train certain personnel, tracking air carrier training and tips, establishing the multimodal advisory committee, and instituting a lifetime ban on Commercial Driver’s License holders who use a commercial vehicle to commit a severe form of human trafficking.

Federal Advisory Committee

DOT established the Advisory Committee on Human Trafficking on October 3, 2018.  The committee was tasked with providing information, advice, and recommendations to the U.S. Secretary of Transportation on matters relating to human trafficking, and developing recommended best practices for states and state and local transportation stakeholders in combating human trafficking.  The committee submitted its final report, “Combating Human Trafficking in the Transportation Sector” in July 2019 with counter-trafficking recommendations that all transportation stakeholders can implement.  Useful tools and resources to bolster counter-trafficking efforts include a model strategy with associated policies and protocols, a proclamation, training and awareness best practices, quick implementation guides by mode, and sample materials.


DOT continues to underscore the important role transportation ministries have in combating human trafficking in the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation Transportation Working Group (APEC TPT-WG), the International Transport Forum (ITF), and the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).  Over 50 ITF and APEC transportation ministers have committed to tackling the issue of human trafficking.

Report a Tip

-- In an Emergency, Call 911 --

Human trafficking is a crime involving the exploitation of someone for the purposes of
compelled labor or a commercial sex act through the use of force, fraud, or coercion.
Where a person younger than 18 is induced to perform a commercial sex act,
it is a crime regardless of whether there is any force, fraud, or coercion.
Victims can be anyone from around the world or right next door:
women and men, adults and children, citizens and non-citizens alike.


or text 233733

- GET HELP and connect with a service provider in your area
- REPORT A TIP with information on potential human trafficking activity
- LEARN MORE by requesting training, technical assistance, or resources

The National Human Trafficking Hotline (NHTH) is a national, toll-free hotline
available to answer calls from anywhere in the country, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week,
every day of the year. The NHTH is not a law enforcement or immigration authority
and is operated by a nongovernmental organization funded by the Federal government.


1-866-347-2423 (U.S.)
1-802-872-6199 (International)

Call the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Tip Line 
directly to report suspected human trafficking activity and get help 24 hours a day,
7 days a week, every day of the year. Highly trained specialists take reports
from both the public and law enforcement agencies on more than 400 laws
enforced by ICE HSI, including those related to human trafficking.

Stay Connected

Sign up for USDOT's Transportation Leaders Against Human Trafficking news and events.

Put the Brakes on Human Trafficking

Last updated: Thursday, June 24, 2021