Washington launches first-ever statewide anti-trafficking campaign

In Human Trafficking Awareness Month, cities, counties, transit authorities, airports and seaports in Washington and beyond are joining forces to prevent human trafficking with the Not Alone campaign, a statewide initiative to encourage victims of human trafficking to seek help.

Not Alone was designed and launched in Washington State by Rebekah Covington, a Human Trafficking Survivor and Business Relations Manager at BEST (Businesses Ending Slavery and Trafficking), to raise awareness about human trafficking and helping victims and survivors identify themselves and connect with services by calling the National Trafficking in Persons Helpline at 1-888-373-7888 or texting 233733 (TOLL FREE).

“When people are trafficked, they feel isolated and unable to leave the situation,” said Covington. “To create this campaign, we prioritized contributions from people with lived experience of trafficking. Trafficked people will see signs that speak directly to them to give them hope that they are not alone – there is a way out of the terrible situation they find themselves in.

Trafficking in human beings in air, sea and mass transport

Not Alone is one of the first campaigns to focus on self-identification of victims and survivors rather than educating the general public. Surveys of victims of trafficking indicated that 38% had traveled by air at some point during their exploitation, 63% said they had used public transport during their exploitation and 26% said that public transport and en masse played a role in at least one exit attempt.

Twenty-six partner organizations hang multilingual signage in English, Spanish, Russian, Chinese (Mandarin), Korean, Vietnamese and Somali statewide, including transit facilities, buses, terminals, restrooms, facilities airports and ports and buildings serving vulnerable populations. In addition, BEST offers its employees free training on the prevention of human trafficking throughout the month of January.

“We are doubling down on our commitment to end human trafficking for the fourth year in a row,” Seattle Port Commissioner Sam Cho said. “Displaying these posters at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport and at the port’s marine facilities helps ensure that anyone who sees them knows they are not alone and that there is help.” We combine this work with the required employee training, so our team knows how to spot and stop this human rights pandemic. “

BEST’s Not Alone posters and online training encourage individuals to contact the National Human Trafficking Hotline. The helpline is available to anyone to call 1 (888) 373-7888, text 233733 (FREE) or chat online at https://humantraffickinghotline.org/. The Hotline is free and available 24/7/365. It is available in English and Spanish, in addition to 200 other languages.

Learn more at the Port of Seattle

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