Washington, D.C. – Today , U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) and John Cornyn (R-Texas) reintroduced legislation to help airports, bus stations, and other transit hubs identify signs of human trafficking, engage in public awareness campaigns, and provide support to victims and survivors through the U.S. Department of Transportation. This legislation is modeled on successful human trafficking prevention policies in the state of Nevada.
“Human trafficking survivors are often trafficked through airports and bus stations, and my bipartisan bill would make it easier for them to seek safety,” said Senator Cortez Masto. “By training staff and funding public education campaigns, we can make it easier for survivors to escape their traffickers and get help.”
“Texas airports welcome hundreds of thousands of travelers every day, and they play a vital role in identifying and stopping human trafficking,” said Senator Cornyn. “This legislation would ensure airports nationwide have the resources they need to raise awareness and help get victims away from their traffickers safely.”
Major Nevada airports and Nevada’s Regional Transportation Commissions have taken important steps to assist trafficking victims, including the installation of a human trafficking hotline number on the door of every bathroom stall in airports and providing outreach for youth who need help escaping abuse or human trafficking. The Reduce Human Trafficking through Transportation Act would help grow these programs and expand them nationwide by directing $20 million annually towards efforts to train airport and transit staff to identify signs of trafficking, engage in public awareness campaigns, and provide support to victims and survivors.
Senator Cortez Masto is a national leader in the fight against trafficking and exploitation. She wrote the law making human trafficking a felony in Nevada as Attorney General, and her federal legislation to help train law enforcement to identify and prevent child trafficking and to combat human trafficking activity on social media was recently signed into law. She recently introduced the bipartisan Jimmy Deal Trafficking Survivors Assistance Act to help human trafficking survivors access air travel so they can escape traffickers and get the care they need. This past summer, the Senator helped seat Nevada trafficking survivor Annika Huff on the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Advisory Committee on Human Trafficking.