TAMPA, Fla. — January is Human Trafficking Awareness Month and Port Tampa Bay said it is working to bring awareness to the thousands of people who pass through the port each day.
According to the Department of Homeland Security, each year thousands of human trafficking cases are reported in the U.S., but many more go unnoticed.
"It's a human tragedy that takes place every day, in our own backyards here in Tampa and around the world," said Paul Anderson, CEO of Port Tampa Bay.
That’s why he said Port Tampa Bay is taking steps to help prevent it.
"Thousands of truck drivers every day come through our port, cruise terminals, and other areas. So if we just help educate one person who identifies human trafficking or slavery we’ve done a great job," said Anderson.
Anderson said they’re joining the national, “Not Alone,” campaign and placing multi-lingual signage within the port to help victims. He said they’re also training employees to identify trafficking victims.
"I just want to say to anyone who recognizes something that’s not right. Someone who is not communicating with you. If they see something on a plane or a train, say something," said Anderson.
Though Anderson said he's never known of a case reported at Port Tampa Bay, he wants people to know if they need help or know someone who does they can call 1-888-373-7888 or text "BeFree (233733) to get help.