Houston Airports Receives 2023 Combating Human Trafficking in Transportation Impact Award

July 31, 2023

Houston Airports earned the second place U.S. Department of Transportation 2023 Combating Human Trafficking in Transportation Impact Award. The DOT awards aim to incentivize innovative and shareable solutions to combat human trafficking in the transportation industry.  

Houston Airports' “Together We Will #EndHumanTrafficking” proposal builds on its comprehensive approach to combating human trafficking. The counter-trafficking proposal includes expanding community awareness ahead of major travel periods and holidays, expanding employee training to comprise human trafficking survivor voices, and providing financial support to local advocacy groups.  

U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said, “Transportation workers and the traveling public have a key role to play in the fight against human trafficking - which is why it’s so important for everyone to recognize the signs and be prepared to report it."

Everyone can learn more about the signs of human trafficking and share the National Human Trafficking Hotline (1-888-373-7888) — an important resource to report a tip or ask for help.

The first-place award went to Businesses Ending Slavery and Trafficking and the American Association of Port Authorities for their “Awareness Campaign to Help Prevent Human Trafficking in the Maritime Industry” proposal. They will conduct the first national, multilingual counter-trafficking public awareness campaign to raise awareness among port authority employees and seafarers.

The DOT is working to combat human trafficking in many ways.

For instance, the joint DOT and DHS Blue Lightning Initiative trains aviation industry personnel to identify potential traffickers and human trafficking victims, and to report their suspicions to federal law enforcement through in-flight and on the ground reporting methods. To date, over 130 aviation industry partners have trained more than 350,000 employees through the Blue Lightning Initiative, and actionable tips continue to be reported to law enforcement. Participation is open to any U.S. aviation industry organization and to international air carriers serving the U.S.