Webinar: Combating Human Trafficking in Transportation

Webinar: Combating Human Trafficking in Transportation

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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

About the Panelists
Paul Chang, Regional Anti-Human Trafficking Coordinator, US Department of Labor
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.

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.

Elizabeth Jespersen, Manager, Organizational & Human Capital Development, Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA)
Elizabeth Jespersen has spent over 30 years in both the public and private sector of Transportation. As VTA’s Manager of Organizational and Human Capital Development, Elizabeth is responsible for all employee training and development programs. She previously served as the Supervisor of Organizational Development and Training. Elizabeth was deeply involved with Diversity and Inclusion initiatives including serving on VTA’s Diversity and Inclusion Strategic Committee and leading VTA’s Discover Opportunities in Transit grant partnership with the Federal Transit Authority. With the Director of Policy and Compliance, Elizabeth manages the Not On Transit Grant, which will provide federal dollars towards eliminating human trafficking in and around the VTA system.

Dr. Kezban Yagci Sokat, Research Associate, Mineta Transportation Institute (MTI)
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.

Additional Details

Event Cost - Free

APA member cost - Free

CM Credits -

Credits pending or approved - Pending

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Speaker names

Ethics credits -

Law credits -

Sustainability/Resilience credits -

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Date And Time

Thu, Apr 27 @ 10:00 AM to
Thu, Apr 27 @ 11:00 AM


Online event

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