MARTA General Manager and CEO Jeffrey Parker joined U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao in Washington, D.C., on Jan. 30, to sign the Transportation Leaders Against Human Trafficking pledge to combat human trafficking in the transportation sector.
The Department of Justice estimates 25 million people across the globe have been sold into prostitution, domestic servitude, or other forced labor. The DOJ also says this country’s expansive transportation network is being used to perpetuate these crimes. The Federal Bureau of Investigation lists Atlanta in the top fourteen cities with high rates of human trafficking.
“Traffickers use every mode of transportation for their evil industry and so we have to be vigilant on our roads, at our airports and on our buses and trains,” Parker said. “I sign this pledge, along with my fellow transportation leaders, as a sign of MARTA’s commitment to using our resources and reach to end human trafficking.”
Georgia First Lady Marty Kemp and GDOT Commissioner Russell McMurry spoke at the USDOT event on the work underway in Georgia through the Georgians for Refuge, Action, Compassion and Education Commission. MARTA supports the anti-human trafficking legislation announced by Governor Brian Kemp and First Lady Marty Kemp last week that seeks justice for victims and intends to hold those who traffic in human lives accountable.
“I am proud to stand alongside transportation leaders like MARTA in this critical fight,” First Lady Marty Kemp said. “With Atlanta’s abnormally high rates of human trafficking, MARTA leadership has a unique opportunity to make our capital city safer — all while educating the public on the signs of human trafficking and how to report suspicious activity.”
MARTA has been involved in the fight against human trafficking through partnerships with Georgia Cares, the National Center for Civil and Human Rights International Human Trafficking Institute’s “Truth in Trafficking” ad campaign, and training programs around Super Bowl LII to educate MARTA frontline staff on how to identify victims and aid in their recovery. Human trafficking hotline posters have been placed in bathrooms in all MARTA facilities.
With MARTA’s pledge, MARTA commits to elevating this campaign to the forefront through ongoing awareness training for all employees and will work closely with its partners, including the anti-trafficking commissions and workgroups in Fulton County, DeKalb County, Clayton County and the city of Atlanta.
To support the work of the GRACE Commission, MARTA will partner with OUTFRONT Media to display anti-human trafficking public service announcements on digital boards at rail stations to educate customers on how to spot victims and alert officials.