Press Releases

Spanberger Encourages Community Awareness & Engagement in Fight Against Human Trafficking

Congresswoman Marked National Slavery & Human Trafficking Prevention Month at Event with UPS Freight Officials, the Richmond Justice Initiative, & Local Students

Henrico, VA, January 21, 2019

HENRICO, VA — U.S. Representative Abigail Spanberger helped kick off an event to educate children about the risk of human trafficking in their communities.

Spanberger spoke to area students at an event hosted by UPS and the Richmond Justice Initiative (RJI) for its Prevention ProjectTM curriculum, which aims to educate middle and high school students about the dangers of human trafficking. UPS, in coordination with Truckers Against Trafficking, has partnered to educate more than 97,000 UPS drivers on how to recognize and respond to signs of human trafficking. During her remarks at a UPS Freight facility in Richmond, Spanberger called on Virginians to observe January as National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month to learn more about the warning signs of potential human trafficking in their communities.

“Human trafficking is a heinous act, and it occurs in communities across the country each day, including here in the Commonwealth,” said Spanberger. “Today, I was proud to join RJI and UPS in their work to educate students about the risks and signs of human trafficking. RJI plays a vital role in education and prevention, and UPS has done good work ensuring that their drivers, who may find themselves on the front lines of encountering human traffickers and their victims, know how to respond. To combat human trafficking, we must build strong anti-trafficking partnerships among local businesses, law enforcement officials, advocacy organizations, and schools to educate and make plans for how to respond. Today, I was pleased to join UPS and RJI as they continue their important work.”

“UPS is proud to play a role in helping to stop human trafficking and, to that end, we’ve trained more than 97,000 of our drivers to be aware, safe and responsive,” said Rich McArdle, President of UPS Freight. “By joining forces with organizations like Truckers Against Trafficking and taking part in events like today’s Prevention Project with the Richmond Justice Initiative and Representative Spanberger, we can bring more visibility to fighting this horrible epidemic.”

“RJI commends UPS for their multi-faceted approach to anti-trafficking,” said Jessica Willis, CEO of RJI. “RJI is so proud to partner with UPS in reaching youth with human trafficking prevention education."

According to RJI, the Prevention Project curriculum is a nationally award-winning curriculum that is available for use in schools, after school programs, and youth groups across the country. They also offer in-depth trainings for teachers and counselors and provide speaking events to a variety of groups as part of their mission to educate, equip, and mobilize communities to join the global movement to end human trafficking.

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