Amtrak Trained to Fight Human Trafficking

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced a new partnership with Amtrak to educate its employees about human trafficking. “Even through human trafficking can happen anywhere, it’s often a hidden crime,” Napolitano said. “That’s why we welcome partnership that expands the reach of individuals.”

Amtrak President Joe Boardman said senior-level officials at Amtrak have already begun training to identify and report human trafficking victims and will begin training the rest of the company’s 8,000 employees. The training covers physical, behavioral and social signs victims might display, such as not having control of their traveling documents, not having a logical means of reaching their destination or showing signs of fear and stress. Employees are expected to be able to identify potential human traffickers and victims and then report the incident to Amtrak police. Amtrak also has contact with nearly every local police station its trains travel in 46 states (all but Alaska, Hawaii, South Dakota and Wyoming), the District of Columbia and Canada.

From October 2010 to September 2011, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcements initiated 700 human trafficking investigations, which lead to 900 arrests and 270 convictions.

Learn more at Emily Wilkins’ Kansas City Infozine article: Amtrak Steps Up Fight Against Human Trafficking.

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