ALEXANDRIA, Va. – Each year, thousands of men, women and children become ensnared in human trafficking worldwide. In the United States, the number of reported human trafficking cases is on the rise.
For this week’s episode of Convenience Matters, “Partnering for Human Trafficking Awareness,” co-hosts Jeff Lenard and John Eichberger spoke with Michael McKeown, executive director of campaigns and the Homeland Security Advisory Council, at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
Earlier this year, through this alliance with the DHS Blue Campaign, NACS will provide the DHS Blue Campaign’s training and awareness materials—including posters, handouts and other materials—to members free of charge. Click here for more information on the NACS initiative and to download materials to combat human trafficking.
McKeown offers listeners suggestions for how to spot trafficking victims, such as regular customers who wear the same outfit every visit, who seem to need medical attention, who come in at off-hours, or don’t have access to their identity cards.
The DHS Blue Campaign raises public awareness about human trafficking, leveraging partnerships to educate the public to recognize human trafficking and report suspected instances. The Blue Campaign also offers training to law enforcement and others to increase detection and investigation of human trafficking, and to protect victims and bring suspected traffickers to justice.
“With 160 million customers coming to convenience stores every day, retailers can be the eyes and ears for the community. By hanging signs in bathrooms and hallways can create awareness,” Lenard says.
A new Convenience Matters podcast is released every week focusing on topics related to convenience stores.