February 21, 2024

Press Release

Pasco County Driving Home Human Trafficking Awareness

Commission on Human Trafficking relaunching transportation initiative

| 1/13/2023

PASCO COUNTY, FL  ----  The Pasco County Commission on Human Trafficking is once again partnering with Pasco County Public Transportation (GoPasco) and the U.S. Institute Against Human Trafficking (USIAHT) to help bus riders and drivers recognize the signs of human trafficking and help potential victims get to safety.

“Human trafficking is a vile crime, and it’s easy to dismiss as something that’s happening elsewhere,” said Commissioner Gary Bradford, who serves on the Commission on Human Trafficking.  “Sadly, this is happening right here in Pasco, and we’re working to eradicate it from our community.”

This campaign will reach an average 45,000 riders a month through the following actions:

  • Placards & pamphlets for GoPasco bus riders
  • Tips for bus drivers to identify trafficking
  • Protocol for bus drivers who suspect trafficking
  • USIAHT victim ‘Safe Way Out Cards’ on buses

“Victim resource cards are a crucial step toward referring victims to critical resources,” says USIAHT President & CEO Kevin Malone.   “Our team can help them find safe living options, mental health services, advocacy support, employment opportunities and much more.”

“Partnerships like this are crucial to addressing this problem,” said GoPasco Program Manager Rose Bruckner.  “Traffickers use public transportation to move victims, so training bus drivers to identify and report this crime is an important tool we can use on the frontlines to help victims throughout Pasco County.”

Human trafficking is a growing problem worldwide, with an estimated 49.6 million men, women, and children trapped in modern slavery, according to the International Labour Organization.

If you suspect or are a victim of human trafficking, please call the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 1-888-373-7888.

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