The California Independent Oil Marketers Association (CIOMA) announced its
partnership with In our Backyard (IOB) through the group’s flagship program, Convenience Stores Against Trafficking (CSAT). By promoting January as National
Trafficking Awareness Month, CIOMA enters this new partnership to help empower
California's convenience industry as a leader in combatting human trafficking
across the state.
11,000 storefronts along California's roads and highways, convenience stores
are in a unique position to stop trafficking on the front lines. CSAT will
bring the latest resources and in-depth employee training in identifying and
reporting trafficking to CIOMA's extensive network of retail operators. By
providing real-world training and in-store resources for victims, CIOMA and
CSAT hope to provide victims pathways and opportunities to freedom from their
captors that would not otherwise exist.
the critical first step in ending trafficking, and now CIOMA joins our goal of
engaging the entire convenience store industry to promote safety and support
for their communities by becoming members of CSAT,” said Nita Belles, founder
of In Our Backyard.
January being recognized as Human Trafficking Awareness Month, CIOMA is proud
of this partnership and the commitment to eradicate trafficking from our
communities for good," said Ryan Hanretty, executive director of CIOMA.
"These small, family- and minority-owned businesses are engrained in their
communities and truly care about their neighbors. Our members are ready to lead
the fight against the heinous crime of human trafficking."
Backyard, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, links convenience stores and other rest stops
across America in the fight against human trafficking through awareness,
action, education, legislative advising and advocacy for survivors. Its
Convenience Stores Against Trafficking program raises public awareness of the
issue in communities across America. CSAT engages convenience stores as
trafficking prevention centers in local communities by training employees to
recognize and report human trafficking.
To help combat
human trafficking, NACS announced a partnership in July 2017 with the U.S. Department of
Homeland Security’s (DHS) Blue Campaign, providing convenience retailers with
access to NACS-branded DHS Blue Campaign training and awareness materials for
download—including posters, handouts and other materials—free of charge.
partners within their own community, convenience stores can help play a role in
combating human trafficking.
stores serve 160 million customers a day in every community across the country
24 hours a day. Our industry is well equipped to share important messages with
our customers so they can collectively create the equivalent of a neighborhood
watch program in their communities,” said NACS Vice President of Strategic
Industry Initiatives Jeff Lenard.
To learn more
about your stores can get involved in combating human trafficking, contact
Carolyn Schnare, NACS director of strategic initiatives, at (703) 518-4248 or firstname.lastname@example.org.