Combating Human Trafficking in Transportation (2023 Caltrans Safety Awareness Week)

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Thursday, April 27, 2023

10:00-11:00a.m. (PT) | Link to register

Human trafficking, a form of modern slavery, is the recruitment, transport, and/or transfer of persons using force, fraud, or coercion to exploit them for acts of labor, services, or sex. It is the fastest growing organized crime with approximately $150B in annual profits. Because trafficking relies on the transportation network to recruit, move, and transfer victims and to move goods produced by forced labor, the transportation industry plays a critical role in preventing and combating human trafficking.  Transportation can also be a gateway for survivors to leave their trafficking situation and obtain aid to rebuild their lives. 

For the 2023 Caltrans Safety Awareness Week, the Mineta Transportation Institute is hosting a one-hour webinar featuring expert panelists to showcase efforts to combat human trafficking in the United States. Experts will discuss these critical questions: How can industry employees protect loved ones & community members? How can we learn to identify risk factors and signs of human trafficking? 

Join us to learn more about the role of transportation industry stakeholders in facilitating effective prevention training programs and increasing accurate victim identification, as well as putting in place survivor-centered and trauma-informed response protocols.

*1 PDH credit available

View the Recording 

View the List of Resources

View & Download PDH Certificate


About the Panelists

  • Paul Chang, Regional Anti-Human Trafficking Coordinator, US Department of Labor – Wage and Hour Division

Paul Chang serves as the Regional Anti-Human Trafficking Coordinator at the U.S. Department of Labor – Wage and Hour Division. In his 28+ years with the agency, Paul worked on some of the most celebrated cases as an investigator and Assistant District Director. He developed numerous training materials and programs, including the Enterprise Model that focuses on strategic approaches to prosecution, protection, and prevention of forced labor. Paul served as the National Co-Chair of the White House Initiative on Asian Americans Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders (WHIAANHPI) Regional Network. Paul is also a lecturer at Cal State LA’s MPA program and Vanguard University on Human Trafficking. He is the recipient of numerous Secretary’s Awards and community honors, including the 2019 Global Center for Women and Justice Diamond Award.

  • Evelyn Chumbow, Operations Manager and Survivor Advocate, Human Trafficking Legal Center (HTLC)

Evelyn Chumbow is a survivor of child labor trafficking turned anti-trafficking activist and public speaker. Chumbow has been invited to brief several government agencies about human trafficking from a survivor’s perspective, including the Department of Homeland Security, the FBI, the State Department, and the Department of Justice. She was appointed by President Obama to serve on the U.S. Advisory Council on Human Trafficking. She has been invited as a speaker to international events and has been awarded many honors for her work. Chumbow serves as an advisor to human trafficking NGOs and on the Board of Directors for Free the Slaves. Chumbow hopes to leverage her unique position as a former child slave to end human trafficking in her hometown and globally.

  • Aston Greene, Chief of System Safety and Security, Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA)

  • Polly Hanson, Senior Director, Security, Risk and Emergency Management, American Public Transportation Association (APTA)

Polly Hanson coordinates with APTA stakeholders to develop transit security, risk and emergency management standards and policies. She serves as the Vice-chair of the TSA Surface Transportation Security Advisory Committee. Previously Ms. Hanson was the Chief of Police for AMTRAK, where she led a national police department responsible for protecting over 30 million passengers and 20,000 employees. Additionally, as the Chief of the Metro Transit Police in D.C., she led a tristate police department and directed the response to the terrorist attacks in Madrid and London. She received WMATA’s Carmen E. Turner Award, and the Conference of Minority Transportation Officials (COMTO) named Ms. Hanson a “Woman Who Moves the Nation.” Ms. Hanson is a member of the Operation Lifesaver, Inc Board of Directors.

Dr. Yagci Sokat is an Assistant Professor of Business Analytics at San José State University and a Research Associate at the Mineta Transportation Institute with a passion for using analytics to alleviate human suffering in the areas of public health, humanitarian logistics, and human trafficking. Supported by the United States Department of Transportation, IBM, Valley Transportation Authority and San José State University, she has led various multi-disciplinary anti-trafficking projects and has served on several local anti-trafficking committees. She received her PhD in Industrial Engineering and Management Sciences from Northwestern University and holds master’s degrees from Georgia Institute of Technology with a Fulbright scholarship.

Paul Chang, Evelyn Chumbow, Aston Greene, Polly Hanson, Dr. Kezban Yagci Sokat

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