Star Ledger Article Highlights Smith's Historic Human Trafficking Law Turning 20'NJ Transit takes steps to fight human trafficking on 20th anniversary of landmark law'
NJ Transit is going to teach its conductors and other employees to look for signs of human trafficking on its trains and buses.
“This landmark piece of legislation changes the landscape of the conversation around human trafficking and elevated the U.S. government’s capabilities to combat this evil,” said President Donald Trump’s daughter Ivanka, who hosted the summit.
Some 25 million people around the world are used for sex or labor, according to the White House. More than 23,000 of them are in the U.S., according to the National Human Trafficking Hotline.
Many of the victims use public transportation to get from place to place, and the goal of the program is to provide the information and tools needed to recognize trafficking.
NJ Transit was one of the agencies agreeing to train its employees following a U.S. Department of Transportation summit in Washington.
“We’re looking to help as much as we possibly can,” NJ Transit spokeswoman Nancy Snyder said.
The effort was not restricted to transit systems. Representatives of Hackensack Meridian Health and RWJBarnabas Health both came to Washington for a separate event to recognize their efforts to combat human trafficking. After all, victims sometimes wind up in hospital emergency rooms.
“With an estimated 88 percent of victims seeking medical care or treatment while being trafficked, training and knowledge is essential to ensuring that our clinicians appropriately diagnose these individuals,” said Theresa Brodrick, Hackensack’s executive vice president and chief nursing executive.
At the White House Friday, Trump signed an executive order to address both human trafficking and child exploitation, setting up a full-time position to coordinate government efforts.
“Human trafficking is a problem everywhere,” the president said.
Among those looking on was Rep. Chris Smith, R-4th Dist., the chief sponsor of that 2000 law, the Trafficking Victims Protection Act.
“Human trafficking is a barbaric human rights abuse that thrives on greed, secrecy, a perverted sense of entitlement to exploit the vulnerable and an unimaginable disregard for the victims,” Smith said.
This article was originally published Feb. 3 by the Star Ledger (NJ.com) and can be found online at: