Port of Everett Joins Washington's First-Ever Statewide Anti-Human Trafficking Campaign
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – January 6, 2022
PORT OF EVERETT
The campaign, called Not Alone, is first survivor-led program to raise awareness to current trafficking victims
Everett, Wash. – In observance of Human Trafficking Awareness Month, the Port of Everett is joining cities, counties, transit authorities, airports and seaports across Washington and beyond who are combining forces to prevent human trafficking with the Not Alone campaign, the first-ever statewide initiative to encourage victims of human trafficking to seek help.
Not Alone was conceived and launched in Washington state by Rebekah Covington, a survivor of human trafficking and Corporate Relations Manager at BEST (Businesses Ending Slavery and Trafficking), to raise awareness about human trafficking and help victims and survivors self-identify and get connected with services by calling the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 1-888-373-7888 or texting 233733 (BEFREE).
“When people are trafficked, they feel isolated and with an inability to leave the situation,” explained Covington. “To create this campaign, we prioritized input from people with the lived experience of trafficking. People experiencing trafficking will see signs that speak directly to them to give them hope that they are not alone -- there is a way out of whatever terrible situation they are in.”
Human Trafficking in Aviation, Maritime, and Mass Transportation
Not Alone is one of the first campaigns to focus on victim and survivor self-identification rather than general public awareness. Surveys of trafficking victims indicated that 38% traveled by plane at some point during their exploitation, 63% reported using mass transit during their exploitation, and 26% reported that public and mass transportation played a role in at least one exit attempt.
26 partner organizations are hanging multilingual signage in English, Spanish, Russian, Chinese (Mandarin), Korean, Vietnamese and Somali throughout the state, including transit facilities, buses, terminals, restrooms, airport and seaport facilities and buildings serving vulnerable populations.
The Not Alone posters and BEST’s online training directs individuals to contact the National Human Trafficking Hotline. The Hotline is available for anyone to call 1 (888) 373-7888, text 233733 (BEFREE), or chat online at https://humantraffickinghotline.org/. The Hotline is free and available 24/7/365. It is available in English and Spanish, in addition to 200 other languages.
“We are pleased to continue partnering with BEST and other ports in our region to stay vigilant and help protect those who are most vulnerable,” Port of Everett CEO Lisa Lefeber said. “As an active seaport that serves a critical link in our regional, national and global transportation networks, it’s important to do what we can to support these crucial efforts underway to end human trafficking in the maritime industry.”
“Our plan is to train 100% of our staff in 2022 through BEST’s Ports to Freedom training program to recognize the signs of human trafficking,” Lefeber said.
The Port of Everett was the second Washington state port to partner with BEST on its new Ports to Freedom training back in December 2020 to train all seaport and security personnel. The nationwide training is specifically designed and delivered to the maritime industry to help educate port employees support the prevention and identification of human trafficking in the maritime industry.
The Port recently re-affirmed its commitment to this crucial program, executing a new three-year partnership agreement with BEST to expand training to all employees throughout all Port business lines.
About BEST (Businesses Ending Slavery & Trafficking)
BEST is a Seattle-based nonprofit that educates employers to prevent human trafficking and creates pathways to employment for survivors. Founded in 2012, BEST has provided training for more than 11,000 employers in the hotel, aviation, maritime, and transportation industries to recognize and respond to potential cases of human trafficking at their workplaces. To learn more, visit www.bestalliance.org/training.html.
About the Port of Everett Seaport
The Port of Everett Seaport, located 25 miles north of Seattle, is a natural deep-water, self-operating seaport that supports nearly $21 BILLION worth of U.S. exports annually, ranking as the #2 export customs district in Washington state – #5 on the U.S West Coast. The Port of Everett is the third largest container port in Washington state and is the region’s premiere breakbulk cargo facility, handling high-value, conventional and overdimensional cargoes in support of the aerospace, construction, manufacturing, agriculture, energy and forest products industries. Most notably, the Port of Everett serves as an extension of the aerospace manufacturing process, accommodating 100-percent of the oversized aerospace parts for the 747, 767, 777, 777X and K-C Tanker programs. The Port of Everett’s regional transportation network supports more than 40,000 jobs and $433 million in state and local tax revenue.