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UTA human trafficking
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UTA to train all staff on how to recognize human trafficking

TRAX operator Laura Perez-Bula wears a mask as she gets ready to depart the Salt Lake Central Station in Salt Lake City on Wednesday, July 1, 2020. Photo: Kristin Murphy, Deseret News

SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah Public Transit Authority (UTA) is taking a stand on human trafficking. It announced Monday it will begin a two-year training to help staff recognize human trafficking signs and how to report information to UTA police. 

Additionally, UTA is kicking off Human Trafficking Awareness Month by partnering with the Asian Association of Utah’s (AAU) statewide Human Trafficking Prevention campaign. It aims to educate staff and UTA riders about human trafficking, the signs of it, and how to report it to authorities. 

“UTA’s top priority has been and will always be safety. Not just for our riders but for everyone in our community,” said UTA Executive Director Carolyn Gonot.

“If UTA can help prevent crimes and aid victims then we believe this organization is duty bound to help in any and all ways possible.”

The AAU warns that, due to Utah’s location, thousands of victims are suspected of being transported through the state. It also warns that there are hundreds of victims within the state. 

In Utah, 50% of human trafficking cases are related to sex trafficking and 68% of the victims are women, according to AAU. The majority of victims are adults. 

On Janurary 11, UTA employees will wear blue gloves and uniforms for the virtual launch of the BE THE ONE Human Trafficking Awareness Campaign. 

The UTA said it plans to spread the message through signage and its social media platforms. It’s also encouraging Utahns to “learn about human trafficking, recognize potential indicators of this crime, report suspected trafficking situations, support Utah’s trafficking victims, and take action to combat human trafficking in our state.”

For more information on human trafficking and ways to support assistance efforts, click here. 

Related: President Trump to create post focusing on human trafficking